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Flights may be hit by ash cloud, warns UK

Flights may be hit by ash cloud, warns UK
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First Published: Mon, May 23 2011. 07 16 PM IST
Updated: Mon, May 23 2011. 07 16 PM IST
London: Flights from parts of the UK will probably be disrupted on Tuesday by an ash cloud billowing from a volcano in Iceland, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.
The Met Office is predicting a plume of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano will cover the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of northern Britain by 11.30 am on Tuesday.
Asked whether this would cause some disruption to flights, a CAA spokesman said: “That’s the way it’s looking certainly at the moment.”
Last year, an eruption by another Icelandic volcano caused six days of travel chaos but the CAA said lessons learned from that incident would reduce the impact this time.
“We know now that engines can cope with certain concentrations of ash. That’s going to be the key difference,” said the CAA spokesman.
He added airlines that presented a safety case would be allowed to fly aircraft through “medium density” ash clouds. “On that basis we hope that some flights will be able to take place in that kind of medium zone around the densest concentrations of ash. We aren’t certain yet what we’re up against,” he said.
The Met Office said it expected winds to continue from northwest until about lunchtime on Tuesday which would not be favourable for northern parts of Britain.
However rain was also forecast which would help.
“All sorts of things point to a relatively (optimistic outlook) I suppose in terms of what’s happening with the weather patterns and the pressure - unlike last year,” a spokesman said.
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First Published: Mon, May 23 2011. 07 16 PM IST
More Topics: UK | Met Office | CAA | Iceland | Ash |