German airports, airspace opening gradually: authorities

21st April 2010, Comments 0 comments

Five of Germany's 16 international airports reopened Wednesday after days of chaos caused by volcanic ash and authorities said they hoped to open more airspace in Germany later in the day.

"Due to the current development of the ash cloud, the airspace at Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schoenefeld is now available for flights," the DFS air safety agency said in a statement.

"The weather forecast is such that further parts of the airspace could be opened during the course of the day," the agency added.

Flights at other airports including Frankfurt may continue to operate aircraft flown visually rather than relying on instruments if pilots stayed in constant contact with air traffic controllers, the agency said.

"We are continuing to examine whether to extend or relax the restrictions," the statement added.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the head of German flag carrier Lufthansa said the firm expected to operate around 500 flights on Wednesday, roughly one third of its normal service.

© 2010 AFP

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