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[英伦广角] 【整理】2010-04-21 英飞机场重新运行

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After 6 long and unprecedented days, Britain's airports have reopened. There remain no-fly zones, but safe flights path around lingering ash cloud will be identified on a daily basis. And the body that regulates airlines has put in place special rules.

“The CAA's revised airspace guidance requires airlines first to conduct their own risk assessment and develop operational procedures to address any remaining risks. Secondly, put in place an intensive maintenance ash damage inspection before and after each flight. And thirdly report any ash-related incidents to a reporting scheme run by the CAA.”

British Airways, which called the flight ban unnecessary after staging its own test 2 days ago with Willey Wash on board, has been losing 20 million pounds a day and is delighted by this new development.

“I don't believe that it was necessary to impose a blanket ban on all UK airspace last Thursday. My personal belief there is that we could safely continue operation for a period of time. I think there were occasional plans when the decision to close airspace could have been justified. But as I said, you know, that's a personal view. We'll sit down in due course and would share the data that we have. And we'll share the learnings that we have had over this period. And I'm sure there would be those who would put forward a different view to me.”

Meanwhile, a transport secretary was keen to stress that caution is not being thrown to the wind, the constant monitoring of the ash cloud and its potential for danger will continue.

“There will still be no-fly zones. The Met Office and the Civil Aviation Authority advised me that on the basis of the current presence of the ash cloud, those no-fly zones would not affect any UK airports. But day by day, annoucements will be made in respect of those no-fly zones.”

It was the day Britain was supposed to fly again better late than never. Only a lucky few like those aboard this flight from Edinburgh to Stornoway managed to get into the air.

“But we're nervous flying anyway. But it's only 45 minutes from here to Stornoway. I think I should survive.”

These students have flown back into Edinburgh from Iceland and their geography field trip has turned out in the shadow of an erupting volcano.

“We're back on peace. We're now going 10-hour cold journey down South to just north of London. So we're not home yet, but we know we'll.”

“It's flying 10 kilometers from the volcano in COD planes. And yet... you know, all the way back in England, people won't even know we escaped from across France and thinks of that as mad.  

It's clear that those in the package holiday industry would have liked to action more quickly.”

“We would have liked governments from around Europe to get around the table a little bit more quickly. We would certainly say that. But at the moment, we're happy that things have changed. So far so good. We know we're getting the process to fly people home.”

Europe's busiest airport Heathrow as well as that right across the UK are back in business tonight. But safely dealing with the backlog built through 6 flightless days presents the next challenge.
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