Iceland volcano ash closes airspace in northern Germany

May 25 2011

Germany is closing its northern airspace on Wednesday because of ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland, officials say.

Bremen airport was closing at 0300 GMT and Hamburg at 0400 GMT, Germany's weather service said.

The airspace over Berlin and Hanover could also be affected.

Air traffic in Norway and Denmark has been disrupted but flights were expected to resume across the UK after some airspace in the north was closed.

Services in and out of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England had been badly hit, with about 500 flights cancelled across Europe.

Europe's air traffic controller Eurocontrol said there was a strong possibility the ash cloud would travel over parts of Denmark, Norway and Sweden but the impact on flights would probably be limited.

Germany's transport authorities have taken a tough view on the potential dangers posed by the ash, says the BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin.

There has been no outright criticism of the decision from German airlines, but there is unease in the industry that Germany's rules regarding flying through volcanic ash are different from the rest of Europe, our correspondent says.

The head of the country's airport organisation said Europe-wide rules were needed.

France's civil aviation authority has said it expects very little disruption to air traffic and was not expecting to close any of the country's airspace.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC


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