Airspace directly over the volcano was closed this afternoon while the coastguard carried out aerial surveying, and helicopter tour operators are awaiting official guidelines for flying over and near the volcano.
There was a steady stream of helicopters visiting the eruption last year, as well as many light aeroplanes flying low and slow over the craters.
“It hasn’t stopped, the phone and the emails,” says Sindri Ólafsson from the Helo helicopter tour company at 16.00 this afternoon.
And what do people want?
“They want to get to the volcano as soon as possible.”
Sindri hopes helicopters can start flying tomorrow and says that flight instructions from Isavia are being prepared. His company has called on extra staff to answer phones—including him and the other pilots for the time being.
“I expect we will do well over ten trips per day, at least. People are just asking now when we’re free—it doesn’t matter when it is—just some time,” Sindri says.
So, there will be an air bridge between Reykjavík and Meradalir?
“Yes, you could say that.”
Who is interested in these trips: is it Icelanders or foreign tourists?
“It’s mostly been Icelanders ringing now. I don’t think the news got out right away to the foreigners. But I expect it will be pretty even and be roughly 50/50 foreign and Icelandic.”