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Vocanic ash disrupts European flights

Iceland's biggest volcanic eruption in 50 years

LONDON (UPI) | May 25, 2011

Aviation officials said airline service in Scotland continued to be hampered by a volcanic ash cloud that could last into Wednesday.

A spokesman for the air-traffic control service Nats told The Scotsman that service disruptions would be likely until early Wednesday as ash from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland drifted through the area.

British Airways canceled all service at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports, The Scotsman said. About 250 flights throughout Europe had been effected by the eruption.

The chief executive of the Irish airline Ryanair scoffed at the so-called "red zone" of highest ash density declared by the Civil Aviation Authority. Michael O'Leary said his company conducted a test flight through the zone and discovered no danger from ash.

Weather officials in Iceland said earlier Tuesday that the ash from Grimsvotn was indeed lower.

The ash plume from Iceland's biggest volcanic eruption in 50 years dropped to 3 miles Tuesday from its original height of 12 miles, officials said.

Meteorologist Halldor Bjornsson told The Daily Telegraph of London the ash plume Tuesday was about 3 miles high compared to past days when it reached as high as 12 miles.

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