Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:23 UK

Southampton Airport could resume flights

Queue at Southampton Airport
Passengers have been advised not to travel to the airport

Flights could resume at Southampton Airport after transport minister Lord Adonis announced a phased re-opening of UK airports from 2200 BST on Tuesday.

Following a meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority, Lord Adonis said the ban on flights would be lifted.

A limited number of flights had been operating between Southampton, the Channel Islands and Teeside.

The airport said it would not be resuming flights before 0630 BST on Wednesday at the earliest.

Earlier the airport issued a statement saying: "We have been advised by NATS that restrictions to airspace remain in place for Southampton Airport until further notice.

"As the airport is closed during night hours, normal operations will not resume until at least 0630 tomorrow morning at the earliest. Operations of smaller aircraft may continue to fly to and from Southampton Airport again tomorrow.

"When the airport resumes operations, it is imperative that passengers check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport. Not all flights will operate during any temporary opening, and the situation may change at short notice.

"We appreciate the patience shown by the travelling public through these unprecedented times and look forward to welcoming them back to Southampton Airport."

Engine concern

Three Royal Navy ships, including Portsmouth-based flagship HMS Ark Royal, had been earmarked to help bring home some of the estimated 150,000 Britons stranded abroad.

HMS Ark Royal has been making its way from Scotland to the English Channel.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance had been grounded because of the ash but is now operational.

UK airspace was closed at noon on Thursday.

Nats imposed the restriction because of the danger the ash poses to aircraft. Tiny particles of rock, glass and sand in the cloud could damage engines.

The volcanic eruption under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajokull area is the second in Iceland in less than a month.

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