Icelandic volcanic ash: Brit airspace closed until Friday1p.m.

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London, Apr 16(ANI): Britain faces another day of travel chaos, as all but emergency flights will remain grounded until 1pm on Friday due to the volcanic ash cloud caused by Iceland's second volcanic eruption in the space of a month sweeping the country.

"The cloud of volcanic ash continues to cover much of the UK. Following a review of the latest Met Office information, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) advises that restrictions will remain in place in UK-controlled airspace until 1p.m. at the earliest," The Telegraph quoted a NATS' spokesman, as saying.

"However, flights from Northern Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick may be allowed in the period from 1a.m. to 1p.m. tomorrow, subject to individual co-ordination. North Atlantic traffic to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Prestwick and Belfast may also be allowed in the period," he added.

The restrictions will see hundreds more flights in and out of the country cancelled, causing further travel misery for thousands of passengers left stranded.

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

Normally about 1,300 flights and 180,000 passengers go in and out of Heathrow every day, while Gatwick airport would expect to handle 679 flights carrying 80,000 passengers.

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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