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Flights resume from Norwich

PUBLISHED: 09:41 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 30 June 2010

Flights are set to resume today from Norwich International Airport for the first time in six days, it was announced last night.

The first flight, a charter to Madeira, was due to depart today at 10am and was 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.

Flights are set to resume today from Norwich International Airport for the first time in six days, it was announced last night.

The first flight, a charter to Madeira, was due to depart today at 10am and was 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.

Mel Gray, duty manager at Norwich International Airport, 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.

KLM last night said on its website it was unlikely to resume flying into Norwich today but Flybe indicated that it was hoping to operate as normal a schedule as possible from early 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.

Last night planes were already landing at London Heathrow.

For more information passengers are advised to contact Norwich International Airport on 0844 748 0112 or visit www.norwichairport.co.uk

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