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Dutch air space re-opens as new cloud threatens

The first flights left from Schiphol Airport on Tuesday morning around 8 o’clock. There were planes to Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid and Tunisia.

Dutch airspace has re-opened and aircraft are departing from Schiphol again, but a new volcanic ash cloud threatened to quickly close down skies again.

Dutch airspace remains open tonight and not need to close after sunset at 21.01 tonight, since the latest threat of the ash cloud almost ceased.

Dutch airspace started to reopen to flights last night after levels of volcanic ash from Iceland declined.

The aircraft must tend to avoid volcanic ash, by flying at a different altitude than normal.

Eurlings had a meeting with 27 European colleagues about the resumption of air traffic on Monday. According to the Transport Minister, the airline industry can no longer sustain an overall airspace closer. The CDA-minister thinks that European guidelines are too strict.

The flight restrictions in Europe are limited to a few areas. European airspace is divided into a no-Go zone, a safe zone and a zone where planes must be careful. EU Commissioner Siim Kallas (Traffic) has reported this after video-conference with the transport ministers of 27 EU countries.

The zones are in effect from Tuesday morning at 8.00 am. Eurocontrol, will announce the air traffic control zones in the coming hours.

The goal is that European air traffic will gradually resume. “As of Tuesday morning, 8.00 am there will be a steady number of departing flights,” according to Kallas. “Good news for passengers, good news for the aviation industry.”

Air traffic in Northern Europe was paralyzed, because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland last week. The eruption created an ash cloud that may be more dangerous for aircraft engines.

More and more airlines want to fly back to normal in Europe. They criticize the flight restriction which was proclaimed in many European countries after the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

The Icelandic volcano has three craters spewing ash and lava, but the situation remained relatively stable, according to the Police.

Photo by Tom Raftery