Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 19:58 UK

England's airports stay open as ash cloud clears the UK

Passengers at Heathrow Airport
Passengers at Heathrow Airport experienced delays and cancellations

All airports in England will remain open until at least 0100 BST on Tuesday as the volcanic ash cloud clears, air traffic control body Nats said.

Restrictions put in place over most of the country's airports were all lifted by 1300 BST on Monday.

But air passengers across England still faced disruption and delays as airports tried to clear passenger backlogs.

From midday on Tuesday new measures will allow flights for a limited time at higher ash densities.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said a Time Limited Zone (TLZ) had been agreed.

To operate in the new zone airlines need to present the CAA with a safety case that includes the agreement of their aircraft and engine manufacturers.

New zone

UK airline Flybe is the first to achieve this and will be able to use the new zone from midday on Tuesday.

On Monday services were cancelled at a number of airports, despite the flight ban being lifted.

A spokesman for Nats said: "According to the latest information from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and the Met Office, the volcanic ash cloud clears the UK for the period 1900 BST until 0100 BST tomorrow and all airports in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales will be available during this period."

A no-fly zone remains in force over parts of the North Sea which could restrict helicopter flights, Nats added.

Airspace above Bristol and Farnborough in Hampshire was the last to reopen at 1300 BST.

Restrictions put in place at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports, due to their proximity to Bristol and Hampshire, were also lifted.

Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds-Bradford airports had reopened earlier on Monday but passengers continued to experience disruption throughout the day.

Passengers at Manchester Airport
Passengers queued for information at Manchester Airport

Passengers at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport found their flights were still cancelled.

Margaret Palombella, 55, from Liverpool, said: "It's been terrible. There's just nothing going."

Robin Tudor, a spokesman for the airport, said many morning flights had already been cancelled by the airlines.

He said: "The restriction was lifted for this morning, but there is a difference between that and flights resuming as normal.

"Just because the restriction is lifted doesn't mean the flights are back on."

At Heathrow, Andrew and Bernadette Clarke, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, had their British Airways flight to New York cancelled.

The couple, who are going on a four-day break to the city before travelling back on the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, were transferred to a later flight.

Mr Clarke, 57, said: "We've just had to keep an eye on the news, because the cruise leaves on Friday so if we had to wait much longer there wouldn't be any point going."

Birmingham, Norwich and East Midlands airports suspended flights on Sunday but were open again on Monday.

Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano has led to thousands of flights being delayed or cancelled across Europe since April.



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