WhatsApp Linkedin THE Irish Aviation Authority will withdraw restrictions on flights in and out of six airports in Ireland, with effect from the times listed below, until further notice. They include Shannon, Donegal, Sligo, Ireland West (Knock), Galway and Kerry.In a statement the IAA said the restrictions were required as the increased level of recent volcanic activity has created a massive ash cloud stretching 1,000 miles long and 700 miles wide. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up While the northerly winds are keeping the bulk of the cloud out in the Atlantic, the increased size of the cloud continues to pose a risk especially if the winds change.Passengers planning to travel by air over the coming days are advised to regularly check with their airlines and the IAA website in advance of going to the airport.The following is the position on an airport by airport basis for today Friday May 7. AIRPORT Flight Operations:Dublin OpenCork OpenShannon Open from 1000 hours localDonegal Open from 0830 hours localSligo Open from 1000 hours localIreland West (Knock) Open from 1000 hours localGalway Open from 1000 hours localKerry Open from 1000 hours localWaterford OpenThe Aviation Authority said it is in constant contact with VAAC and the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) at Eurocontrol and is monitoring the path of the ash cloud in order to assess the impact it could have on air safety.Should there be any change to the above situation, the IAA said it will issue a further statement but passengers are advised that they must check their airline websites regularly. Twitter Previous articleFurther restrictions on airports along western coastNext articleNo to water charges, but manager has the final say admin Advertisement NewsLocal NewsShannon to open – Ash cloud still a riskBy admin – May 7, 2010 562 Print Facebook Email
Press Association Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey believes any attempt to screen live Premier League matches on Saturday afternoons could be “catastrophic” for the English game. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to open an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 claiming that “significant consumer harm resulting from escalating rights costs” can be addressed by making changes to the way in which live rights are sold. The Premier League’s current domestic live TV rights increased by 70 per cent to £3billion after Sky and BT Sport shared seven packages in the last auction for the 2013-16 rights. The next Premier League tender is expected to go out in the new year with the next set of three-year deals announced before the end of the season. Ofcom is expected make a decision on a review before the end of November, but even if it does announce an investigation it is likely to be a matter of years before an outcome, meaning the next TV deal would not be affected. Virgin Media’s complaint is understood to suggest that fans in the UK have to pay £51 monthly for access to all top-flight matches on TV, while it is £25 in Italy, £21 in Germany, £18 in Spain and £10 in France. Virgin Media is not planning to bid for the Premier League rights but carries Sky Sports and BT Sport on its cable networks, so it passes on the costs of live Premier League football to its own customers. Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global which owns Virgin Media, said earlier this year the company had no intention to bid for live Premier League TV rights. Brigitte Trafford, Virgin Media’s chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement: “The rapidly rising cost of Premier League live broadcast rights means UK fans pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to investigate how the rights are sold ahead of the next auction.” The Premier League said its sales process had always satisfied regulators in the past. It said in a statement: “Live Premier League audio-visual rights have always been sold in a transparent and open process. Regulators have examined our rights packaging and sales process in considerable detail in the past and found both of them to be compliant with UK and European competition law. “If Ofcom chooses to investigate this complaint, we will of course be happy to demonstrate to Ofcom that this is the case.” The complaint claims fans are forced to pay over the odds to watch games on television, that consumers do not benefit from competition between channel providers in terms of the cost, and that the restriction on the number of matches being shown live limits consumer choice. Harvey, whose comments have been echoed by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), said: “Football’s long-standing blocked hours on Saturday afternoons are there to protect attendances at all levels of the domestic game and their continued existence has to be in football’s wider interests. “Ticket revenue remains the biggest single source of income for Football League clubs and is worth around £200m per season to our clubs. Therefore, any move to allow televised matches to compete with games played at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon could potentially be catastrophic for the game in this country.” Virgin Media predicts that there will be a further 60 per cent rise in the cost of the rights in the next auction. FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke backed lower costs for watching matches on TV – but not at the expense of losing the closed window between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons. Clarke said: “We have always supported the closed window. If you have all Saturday afternoon games on TV you would have the destruction of the traditional English game. “It would clash with Football League games and amateur games and we would not support that. “Anything that keeps the cost down for fans is good, and we would prefer Premier League clubs have ticket prices to encourage people to go to the games and not watch it on TV, but for those who can’t they shouldn’t be paying through the nose.” Harvey was speaking after it was revealed cable giant Virgin Media has lodged a formal complaint with the broadcast regulator Ofcom about TV rights sales. Virgin Media wants Ofcom to open a formal investigation into the way the Premier League sells its broadcast rights.