April 19, 2010 / 3:10 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 3-UK to partly reopen airspace, new ash cloud looms

(Updates with new NATS statement)

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - British airspace will be partially reopened from 0600 GMT on Tuesday, but a new cloud of volcanic ash heading towards Britain has created fears of more disruption to flights, aviation officials said.

Britain’s national air traffic control body stressed that it was working with a rapidly changing conditions due to the unpredictability of the Icelandic volcano whose eruptions have caused air travel chaos across Europe,

“Since our last statement... the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the U.K.,” the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said in statement released late on Monday.

NATS said it would issue a further update at 0200 GMT on Tuesday, but as the things stood airspace in Scotland should open at 0600 GMT.

Restrictions in the rest of England and Wales may be lifted six hours later, though not as far south as the main London airports.

The situation for Northern Irish airports is still uncertain,

British airspace was closed last Thursday because of fears that the volcanic ash could cause planes’ engines to fail.

Millions of passengers have been stranded or had their travel disrupted across northern Europe. [ID:LDE63I007]

Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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