Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 20:41 UK

Closed Scottish airports reopen after ash alert

Rain cloud over Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport had been closed to all flights earlier on Monday

A ban on flights imposed due to the danger posed by a cloud of volcanic ash has been lifted at most Scottish airports.

Several airports - including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Prestwick and Inverness - which were closed on Monday morning have now reopened.

All services to and from Sumburgh and Kirkwall have been cancelled for the remainder of the day.

Forecasts suggest the ash should not cause any further problems this week.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Met Office reports are reasonably confident that our skies should remain clear over the course of this week.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and updates will be available on the Scottish government website."

Level one

Airspace over Orkney and Shetland reopened at 1900 BST, with flights due to resume on Tuesday morning.

One stranded passenger at Sumburgh airport on Shetland told BBC Scotland: "It is kind of ironic that we are heading out to Iceland for a meeting and the ash there has caused our flight to be delayed, but I would rather be safe than sorry - I wouldn't want to take a risk."

A number of airports in Scotland stopped receiving flights on Sunday, but the airspace closures spread further during the night.

According to Scottish government figures, the latest ash disruption affected about 195 flights.

About half of 28 flights scheduled at Prestwick airport were cancelled.

Edinburgh airport saw about 30% of flights cancelled, and Aberdeen about 33%.

At Glasgow airport about 9% of scheduled flights were cancelled.

Flights resumed from Edinburgh Airport shortly after 1300 BST.

'Instant snapshot'

A spokeswoman at Edinburgh Airport said she was "optimistic" it could stay open for the rest of Monday.

"Since 1pm we've had quite a few flights take off. It's up to the airlines if they fly or not, so definitely check with them," she said.

A spokeswoman at Aberdeen anticipated some delays while flight services returned to normal.

Glasgow Airport remained open throughout the day but some flights were delayed or cancelled because of flights being grounded elsewhere.

The Scottish government is publishing information on the disruption likely to be caused by the volcanic ash, categorised into three levels, on its website.

The status is now at level one, indicating there is no current disruption.

Ash from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland closed UK airspace for five days last month.

High concentrations of ash have also grounded flights on numerous occasions since.

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