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Volcanic ash flight disruption update

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24 May 2011 by Luke McCormick

Volcanic ash from the Icelandic volcano has caused flight disruption today as airports across Scotland and the north of England suffered cancellations and closures.

Thousands of passengers have had their flights cancelled because of drifting ash from an Icelandic volcano.

Airports affected include Londonderry, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Durham Tees Valley, Newcastle and Carlisle, air traffic services company Nats said.

Nats said the ash cloud would continue to affect flights in Scotland and northern England until 0100 BST on Wednesday.

Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond said although there would be widespread disruption across Scotland, it was unlikely to last long, with Scottish airports expected to be clear by Wednesday morning.

"At the moment the model suggests that disruption later in the week is likely to be limited, but of course the weather patterns are changing all the time," he said.

British Airways cancelled all flights to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle on Tuesday, while minor disruptions were also reported in Norway and a small part of Denmark.

According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in London, today areas of high ash concentration were present over northern parts of the United Kingdom. Other parts of northern Europe were also affected and as result approximately 500 flights were cancelled from the approximately 29,000 that would have been expected today across Europe.

According to the VAAC predictions, there is a strong possibility that the ash cloud may impact parts of Denmark, southern Norway and southwest Sweden by tomorrow.

This would have some impact on flights, however, given the new procedures in place and the predicted movement of the ash cloud over the coming days, the actual impact on flights is expected to be relatively low.

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