Europe`s airspace open as volcanic cloud shrinks

Europe`s airspace was open normally again on Tuesday, after flights were grounded in Ireland earlier in the day due to return of ash from an Icelandic volcano.

Last Updated: May 04, 2010, 22:50 PM IST

Brussels: Europe`s airspace was open normally
again on Tuesday, after flights were grounded in Ireland earlier in
the day due to the return of ash from an Icelandic volcano
which paralysed the skies last month.

"The area where ash concentrations could exceed engine
manufacturer tolerance levels has shrunk and is no longer
affecting any substantial part of European airspace," said the
Eurocontrol agency which coordinates air traffic control
centres.

"At the current time, there are no airspace closures in
Europe due to volcanic ash," the Brussels-based Eurocontrol
said in a statement citing the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in
London.

The intergovernmental Eurocontrol, which aims to develop
a seamless European air traffic management system while
maintaining high safety levels, said it expected the situation
to remain stable "for the coming hours".

Earlier in the day national authorities shut down
airspace in Ireland and parts of northwest Scotland.

Last month losses to Europe`s air and tourism sectors
caused by an ash cloud from the Eyjafjoell volcano in Iceland
led to some 100,000 cancelled flights affecting 10 million
passengers over a week.

PTI