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New Ash Cloud Heads for Britain

Flights in Scotland have been cancelled by a regional airline as volcanic ash continues to head towards the UK.

Iceland Ask Cloud Image

Loganair, based at Glasgow airport, has cancelled 36 flights on Tuesday as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warns that disruption cannot be ruled out.

Analysts expect the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano to reach Scotland and Northern Ireland by Monday evening.

The event comes a year after ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano spread across Europe, causing huge disruption.

'Better prepared'

Andrew Haines, chief executive of the CAA, said: "Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of people both onboard aircraft and on the ground.

"We can't rule out disruption, but the new arrangements that have been put in place since last year's ash cloud mean the aviation sector is better prepared and will help to reduce any disruption in the event that volcanic ash affects UK airspace."

A Loganair spokesman said Met Office forecasts indicated that a high density of ash would be present in large parts of Scottish airspace throughout Tuesday, clearing into Wednesday morning.

It has cancelled almost all flights on Tuesday and advised customers due to travel to contact them to rearrange flights. Only inter-island routes in Orkney are unaffected.

The UK's air traffic control service, Nats, said volcanic ash was forecast to affect parts of Scotland between 1800 BST and midnight on Monday.

Services may be affected from Barra, Benbecula and Tiree.

The Met Office, which runs Europe's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, earlier said there was a possibility of ash moving across the UK towards the end of the week.

But a spokesman said the weather was much more changeable than at the time of last year's eruption and there was a lot more uncertainty.

The CAA said ash levels would be graded as low, medium or high, and airlines would be notified if levels reached medium or high.

Airlines would then consider whether to fly, according to risk assessments already carried out, the CAA added.

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