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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx July 2010

Soft Scream
Flights grounded by volcanic ash
  Soft Scream
For nearly a week in April there was no soft scream of aircraft engines in the UK.   Volcanic ash from Iceland forced the closure of much of the airspace above the country resulting in most major airports effectively shutting down, causing major travel disruption.   Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest hubs in the world, was like a ghost town (bottom middle).

Although all flights were cancelled (lower left) and there wasn't a passenger in site most of the retail units remained open (lower middle), however all the check in desks were closed (lower left).   As the planes were grounded (left above), there was little or no requirement for staff transfer buses (left, left bottom) and rail air services were curtailed (left lower).   National Express though continued to serve the deserted bus station (below bottom right).

The media of course had a field day, encamped at the Renaissance Hotel directly opposite the airport (lower right).   Eventually common sense prevailed and airspace was re-opened bringing to an end one of the most unusual occurrences in the UK transport industry.

Click on clips (left) to see a silent Heathrow Airport


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx All photos taken in April 2010 at Heathrow Airport.   Click to enlarge photos.   Click to play video clips.

  Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)
  • National Express Hotel Hoppa SN08AX, an Alexander-Dennis AD200 Dart, at Heathrow Terminal 3.
  • First Berkshire 23015 (YN04AJV), a Caetano bodied Scania, at Reading rail station on rail air service to Heathrow Airport.
  • Flights Hallmark AE10CUJ, an MCV bodied Dennis Dart, at Hatton Cross bus station.
  • Dunn Line 0626 (FN06FKZ) on the 240 service from Gatwick Airport to Bradford and Luckett FJ58AJX on the 031 service from London to Portsmouth, both Caetano Levantes.


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