British airspace may reopen on Tuesday

Air traffic controllers may be able to start opening UK airspace tomorrow, the transport secretary, Lord Adonis, said todayas British Airways reported that results of airline test flights without passengers provided "fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary".

The National Air Transport Service (Nats) was expected to update its advice this afternoon – a no-fly zone is at present expected to last until at least 1am tomorrow – but Adonis, who has been in constant contact with forecasters, air traffic bodies and European colleagues, said: "It may be possible to start opening UK airspace tomorrow.", The Guardian reports.

European safety experts, aircraft manufacturers and national authorities are examining whether “it is possible to refine the safety guidance under which the airlines operate to get more flights in the air,” Adonis said.

“As we get more data from test flights and are able to refine the analysis of the data that comes from the Met Office and the metrological services, the experts are looking to see whether it is possible to identify safe paths that may make it possible for flights to take place even while we have the presence of ash,” Adonis said. “There is no question whatever of us putting at risk people’s safety.”, BusinessWeek informs.

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