A0450/10 - DUE TO VOLCANIC ACTIVITY IN ICELAND AND THE RESULTING ASHCLOUDS IN THE AMSTERDAM FIR, ALL CIVIL IFR AND VFR OPERATIONS ARE PROHIBITED.
POLICE, SAR AND HEMS FLIGHTS ARE EXEMPTED. SFC/FL245. 17 APR 07:05 2010 UNTIL 17 APR 18:00 2010 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 17 APR 07:06 2010
The above is the current NOTAM issued for Amsterdam's FIR.
In short they have basically shutdown the entire airspace over the Netherlands and are not allowing anyone to fly. This is a total bummer, because right now, I am in my garden looking up at THE most perfect flying weather imaginable and I am grounded. :-(
The even more frustrating thing is that the ash is a) not really anywhere near Holland, and b) only affects aircraft flying higher than FL200 (20,000 ft). We private pilots typically buzz around Holland at around 1,500 - 3,500 ft flying VFR (visual flight rules) and would not be affected by the ash cloud. But the powers that be have decided otherwise. My flying friends in the UK on the other hand are enjoying the fact that the British have shutdown IFR traffic but are allowing VFR traffic, which means all the private pilots pretty much have the skies to themselves. Lucky sods. Sadly though, the Dutch are not as cooperative.
Assuming the airspace is reopened by tomorrow (I will check back at the NOTAM's later today to find out the latest) the plan is to take friends for a tulip hunting flight over Holland. They themselves are in the tulip growing business, and they wanted to view their fields from the air. I also want to get up and see the fields again and enjoy the majesty of colour, the carpet of natures finest blooming in all its glory.
Now, if they only but a cork on that volcano in Iceland so I can go flying tomorrow I'll be a happy boy again.