Irish and British airports back in action after ash alert

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Airports in Ireland and Britain fully re-opened Thursday after the latest shutdown caused by ash from an Icelandic volcano which sparked air travel chaos in Europe last month.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said all airports across Britain were operational at 7:00 am (0600 GMT).

Airports in the Republic of Ireland, which were heavily disrupted on Wednesday, reopened at 4:00 am (0300 GMT) after the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) also lifted restrictions.

A statement from NATS said: "The no-fly zone imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority tracking the high density area of the volcanic ash cloud has moved west overnight and has now cleared UK airspace."

Travellers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland were left stranded Wednesday by the cancellation of hundreds of services.

The fresh disruption came after Europe's skies were closed for up to a week last month after the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano. It was the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II.

Volcanic ash can damage jet engines.

© 2010 AFP

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