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Iceland Volcano Closes Airports

May 23, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

History seems to be repeating itself: The New York Times and other sources are reporting that Iceland’s four international airports were closed to most flights on Sunday as the island nation’s most active volcano erupted for a second day, sending ash 12 miles into the atmosphere.

The prevailing winds were expected to blow the ash west all week, meteorologists told the paper. Because of the wind and the weight of the ash particles, which will make them drop faster, officials did not expect a repeat of the widespread disruption of European air traffic in May and April of last year, when an eruption at another Icelandic volcano grounded more than 100,000 flights (pictured right).

But in a conference call with weather experts and officials responsible for European airspace, airlines were told that if the current weather patterns persisted, ash could reach northern Scotland by midday Tuesday and other parts of Britain as well as western France and northern Spain by Thursday or Friday, according to a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol, the agency in Brussels that coordinates European air traffic.

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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | May 23, 2011
Another Icelandic volcano has closed airports and grounded flights, but experts do not expect a repeat of last year's disaster.
Filed under : Air Travel, Europe, Iceland