Dutch traffic inspectorate allows first night flights
The Dutch traffic inspectorate (IVW) announced Tuesday it would allow the first night flights since airspace was closed last Thursday due to the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland.
"As of this moment, also flights that rely on instruments that allow pilots to fly in the absence of daylight (so-called IMC or blind flying instruments) are allowed," the IVW said in a statement.
"This means that starting tonight, flights can also be undertaken after the daylight period (1901 GMT)," it said.
Dutch airspace partially reopened Tuesday morning, with flights given permission to land or depart on a case-by-case basis.
Nearly 300 flights by Dutch airline KLM departed from or landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport during the day, spokeswoman Saskia Kranendonk told AFP.
Dutch airspace was declared off limits to traffic from 1600 GMT last Thursday because of the ash, which has shut down airports across Europe.
The IVW said the situation was being monitored continuously.
KLM welcomed the latest announcement, but said its flight schedules for Tuesday had already been finalised.
"It is good news," Kranendonk said.
"We won't be able to depart any flights tonight, but incoming inter-continental flights that had been scheduled to stop over at another airport because of the closure of Dutch airspace will now be able to land."
© 2010 AFP