Switzerland to reopen airspace 0600 GMT Tuesday: official

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Swiss aviation authorities said they had decided after test flights to reopen Swiss airspace from 0600 GMT Tuesday, adding that the concentration of volcanic ash in the air had decreased.

Switzerland imposed restrictions on its airspace on Friday night as air traffic across Europe was disrupted by a spreading cloud of ash from the eruption of a volcano in Iceland.

"Even if the ash cloud is still above Switzerland, its concentration has considerably diminished," the Federal Office of Civil Aviation said in a statement confirming the decision to open airspace on Tuesday.

It also cited "the results of first test flights and measurements taken at the level of the ash cloud which showed that the resumption of air traffic is possible."

The test flights were carried out on Monday by military aircraft and the Swiss airline, the aviation authority said.

It would monitor the situation over the coming days, including through extra military test flights, it said.

© 2010 AFP

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