Volcanic ash won’t shut down Israeli air traffic

Aviation Authority Director instructs airlines to examine plane’s engines for ash buildup every two flights.

May 11, 2010 04:20
In this image made available by the Icelandic Coas

icelandVolcano311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fears that Israel’s air traffic would be shut down by volcanic ash from Iceland proved groundless on Monday afternoon, when the meteorological services determined that the cloud would pass at an altitude that would not effect flight patterns.

The ash is expected to pass over Israel at 20,000 feet (6,100 meters), spreading south and east.

At the end of an emergency meeting of the heads of the aviation and transportation authorities, Giora Ram, director of the Israel Aviation Authority, announced that the country’s airspace would remain open.

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Ram instructed Israeli airlines to examine their plane’s engines for ash buildup every two flights. Meteorological model analysis determined that if the cloud of ash drifted form Europe to Israel, the density of ash particles would be low enough not to cause any changes to flight plans.

The Environmental Protection Ministry announced that the ash posed no health risks because of the height of the cloud. The ministry said it would closely monitor the ash’s movements.

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