Reykjanes Eruption: Landowners Ban Helicopter Landings

Geldingadalir reykjanes eruption volcano

Helicopter company Norðurflug has been banned from landing at the eruption site by the landowners of the area, Fréttablaðið reports. The landowners state helicopters are disruptive and spoil the experience of hikers at the site. Norðurflug representatives say the fee landowners are demanding is exorbitant.

The ongoing volcanic eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula is located on a private lot of land called Hraun. On June 29, the landowners of Hraun filed a court injunction to ban Norðurflug from landing at the site. One other helicopter company, Halo, also lands at the eruption site, but they have reached an agreement with the landowners regarding a landing fee.

Read More: Parking Fee Implemented at Reykjanes Eruption Site

Norðurflug and the owners of Hraun had been negotiating for some time regarding a landing fee that would be paid by the helicopter company to the landowners but had failed to find a price both parties would accept. Norðurflug says they are prepared to pay landowners for access to the area, but have pointed out that the price proposed by them, (reportedly 20,000 ISK) is much higher than the price they pay to land at Reykjavík Airport, for example, (around 5,000 ISK), where helicopter operators have access to services. If landowners are charging for access to the eruption, Norðurflug representatives state, they should provide services in return, which Norðurflug says is currently not the case.

Flooding and Landslides in North Iceland

flooding meltwater North Iceland

Warm temperatures and thawing snow are causing rivers to flood their banks in North Iceland. Two landslides have caused property damage in the region and police have encouraged residents to avoid driving on the Ring Road unless necessary. Warm weather and increased runoff are expected in North and East Iceland in the coming days.

One landslide damaged two houses in Varmahlíð, Northwest Iceland last Sunday while another the same evening felled a power line at the nearby Tindastóll ski area. Further east, the rivers Fnjóská and Hörgá are both flowing over their banks. At a campsite located by Fnjóská, guests had to flee the rising water, where the flow has increased six times over in less than a week.

Northeast Iceland Police warned residents to avoid travel along the Ring Road last night, saying there was a possibility that flooding rivers could damage or destroy bridges. Akureyri residents were encouraged to avoid walking along Glerá river and exercise caution near rivers and other bodies of water.

The Icelandic Met Office forecasts ongoing warm weather in both North and East Iceland and increased snow melt in the regions. “Increased runoff will result in a rise in water levels in rivers and streams, especially where there are high temperatures and snow in the mountains,” the Met Office website states.