Ash disrupts flights again up north

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Clouds of ash from Iceland’s volcano rolled in over northern Norway again on Monday, prompting airline Widerøe to cancel several flights between Brønnøysund and Tromsø. The cancellations disrupted travel plans for passengers in Lofoten and Vesterålen.

The ash cloud stayed out at sea on Sunday and during the night, but then it moved east and aviation officials discovered enough ash in the air that flying could be dangerous.

Some flights took off as usual, but the aircraft involved must be examined carefully after flying in what Widerøe called “ash zones.” An airline spokeswoman said Widerøe opted to cancel some departures “to avoid that too many aircraft were on the ground at the same time.”

Passenger were put on later flights, so the disruptions weren’t nearly as severe as those last week and Widerøe claimed no passengers were stranded.

Meanwhile, newspaper Aftenposten reported that small, unmanned planes will soon be ready to measure ash particles over Norway. Special particle filters have been developed and were on their way to Norway from a German producer.

Research firm Norut in Tromsø co-owns the unmanned “drone” planes that are used for environmental monitoring. Now they’ll be equipped with a “spectrometer” that can analyze particles, fly into an ash cloud and send data to Norut researchers, senior research Rune Storvold told Aftenposten.

Views and News staff

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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