Denmark to conduct test flight, considers reopening airspace

10:18, April 20, 2010      

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Denmark will conduct a test flight on Tuesday as it is considering whether to reopen its airspace which has been closed since last week due to volcano ash from Iceland.

The test, to be carried out by Dutch airline Cimber-Sterling, will help to determine whether the air traffic ban can be lifted, the Danish daily Politiken said on its website on Monday.

Signe Thorup, the company's communication manager, was quoted as saying that the test flight, with two pilots on board, will depart at noontime on Tuesday from Karup Airport, and the the aircraft type is ATR 72.

Part of the test is to see how the engines work in the ash-filled air. "We will check the engine thoroughly, both before departing and after landing," said Thorup.

According to a decision made at a video conference of EU transport ministers on Monday, Europe will be divided into three air traffic zones based on the quantity of ashes in the airspace.

One of them will remain entirely closed, while another will be put under security restrictions. The last one will be completely open.

Denmark's test flight on Tuesday will be also used to determine which zone the country belongs to. Denmark has closed its airspace since Thursday afternoon due to the disruption of the volcanic ash from Iceland.

Source: Xinhua


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