Britain closes airspace as Icelandic volcanic ash spreads

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London, Apr 15(ANI): All flights to and from British airspace have been suspended after ash caused by Iceland's second volcanic eruption in the space of a month forced the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) to restrict takeoffs and landings.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, and airports in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland have been shut down.

"The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has issued a forecast that the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Iceland will track over Europe tonight," The Telegraph quoted a NATS spokesman, as saying.

"NATS is working with Eurocontrol and our colleagues in Europe's other air navigation service providers to take the appropriate action to ensure safety in accordance with international aviation policy," he added.

British Airways has cancelled all domestic flights for the whole of today, and said that passengers could rebook at another date or claim a refund.

Talking about the potential danger of the volcanic ash to aircrafts, Dr Steve Bond, lecturer in aircraft operations at City University London, said there is a risk of engine failure because of the ash.

"The problem with aircraft radar is that it is designed to pick up clouds of moisture and it won't detect ash. This is why you have to take precautions and keep aircraft out of the area," Dr. Bond said.

"The disruption could go on for some time. It depends on how long the eruption goes on for and weather conditions. Even if in a best-case scenario it clears after one day, there will still be disruption because aircraft will be in the wrong place and crew will be in the wrong place," he added. (ANI)

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