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British airspace starts reopening from 2100 GMT: air watchdog

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday ordered a phased reopening of much of the country’s airspace from 10:00 pm (2100 GMT).

“The new guidance allows a phased reintroduction from 2200 (local time) tonight of much of the airspace which is currently closed due to the volcanic ash plume over the UK,” said the CAA in a statement.

Britain’s airspace was closed entirely at midday (1100 GMT) Thursday, as a result of a plume of volcanic ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano.

The restrictions had already been eased in Scotland and some parts of northern England, but London’s airports — including Heathrow, the busiest air hub in Europe — remain closed.

The ash cloud prompted countries across Europe to close down their skies, in the biggest aerial shutdown since World War II, which left hundreds of thousands of people stranded abroad.