Ash cloud closes Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

Flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport have been cancelled at least until 14:00 local time due to high concentrations of volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

The flight ban began at 06:00 this morning. Schiphol expects around 500 flights to be cancelled. Around 60,000 passengers will be affected, including passengers on transfer flights.

Intercontinental flights to Amsterdam, including flights from the United States and Surinam, have been diverted to other airports.

No planes will depart from Groningen Airport Eelde in the north of the Netherlands. Other Dutch airports will remain open.

The ash cloud is expected to travel inland. Dutch air traffic controllers hope to be able to give more information later. Flights from the east may be diverted to Maastrict and Eindhoven airport.

London's Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports were also closed last night due to the ash cloud. Departures resumed there at 08:00 Dutch time. Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide