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Flights set to resume from Norwich International Airport today

PUBLISHED: 01:01 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:36 01 August 2010

Norwich airport

Norwich airport

David Bale

The first flight from Norwich International Airport for six days will depart today at 10am, the airport confirmed last night.

The charter flight to Madeira is being allowed to leave after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said all British airports could re-open from 10pm last night after no-fly zones, put in place because of the volcanic ash cloud, were lifted.

The first flight from Norwich International Airport for six days will depart today at 10am, the airport confirmed last night.

The charter flight to Madeira is being allowed to leave after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said all British airports could re-open from 10pm last night after no-fly zones, put in place because of the volcanic ash cloud, were lifted.

Duty manager at Norwich International Airport, Mel Gray said: “The first flight is planned for 10am. This is a charter flight to Madeira.”

He said the airlines KLM, Flybe, BMI and Eastern Airways had all cancelled their flying programmes at Norwich Airport for this morning. But he said that it would be up to each airline when and if the flights would restart in the afternoon.

The CAA said there will be a phased reintroduction of UK airspace, after experts reassessed the tolerance levels that planes have to the ash cloud.

They have now divided the cloud between areas that have a high ash density which are “unsafe for flights”, and ones where planes can fly safely.

The CAA said it was a “situation without precedent” and that decisions had been made based on “thorough gathering of data and analysis”.

It said: “The major barrier to resuming flight has been understanding tolerance levels of aircraft to ash.

“Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low ash density areas.”

There are still 'no fly' zones where concentrations of ash are at unsafe levels for flights but these are much smaller than the present restrictions.

The CAA said the Met Office had advised it the 'no fly' zones did not currently cover the UK.

The Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said safety was the “paramount concern” but research into the effects of the volcanic ash had led to a “better” understanding of the implications.

Some 150,000 Britons have been stranded abroad in the wake of an eruption from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland that has thrown an enormous cloud of potentially hazardous ash into airspace over northern Europe.

It is estimated nearly seven million passengers in total have been affected by the blanket bans on flying, which governments have insisted are necessary on safety grounds.

Ash from volcanoes can be turned into a glass form at high temperatures when it passes through a jet engine, which could cause an air disaster.

For more information passengers are advised to contact the airport on 0844 748 0112 or visit www.norwichairport.co.uk.

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