The United Kingdom remains a virtual no-fly zone for a fourth day as the ash from the volcano eruption in Iceland continues to cause chaos.
Britons are stranded around the world as flight restrictions are extended until at least 1 a.m. British Summertime (BST) Monday, and forecasters are saying the cloud could remain over the UK for many more days, according to the BBC.
“Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said he wanted flights to resume as soon as possible but safety came first,” says the corporation’s news website.
It was at midday on Thursday that planes were grounded, as fears grew that particles in the ash could cause engines to foul.
Adonis is quoted as saying: “I am in constant contact with both the Met Office and NATS [National Air Traffic Service]. They are continuing to work with airlines to ensure they are ready to fully exploit any respite in conditions which could allow some flights to operate.”
He said there would be further test flights to help experts to understand the extent of the ash cloud’s impact.
“I wish to establish, as a matter of urgency, whether some safe flight paths can be identified and opened up to flights within the area affected by ash,” said Adonis, adding that “urgent discussions” were taking place between European and international agencies to ease the chaos.
Meanwhile, health experts in Britain are advising people to stay indoors if they feel any effects of the drifting ash from the Iceland volcano.