Ash cloud: UK air traffic back to normal

2011-05-25 11:47

London - British air traffic returned to normal Wednesday after ash from an Icelandic volcano moved towards Germany, a day after hundreds of flights were cancelled, air traffic controllers said.

The airspace above Britain was expected to remain clear of high density ash from the Grimsvoetn volcano until at least 18:00 GMT, said a spokesperson for NATS (National Air Traffic Services).

Transport Minister Philip Hammond said the ash cloud was expected to come back to Britain on Friday but it could return at such high altitude that aircraft may be able to fly beneath it.

Around 500 flights, mainly in Britain, were grounded on Tuesday as ash from Grimsvoetn's most powerful eruption in half a century swept across northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

German air safety officials announced that no flights would land or take off from Bremen Airport and Hamburg Airport from Wednesday morning as the cloud drifted towards continental Europe.

The disruption comes barely a year after a similar eruption in Iceland forced the biggest closure of European airspace since World War II.