Experts: 'zero levels of atmospheric ash safe for flying.'
Commercial European flights will be severely disrupted as long as some levels of ash are detectable in the air, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told CNN on Monday.
Despite growing pressure from air travel groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and major airlines like British Airways, the CAA said that all current jet engine manufacturers specify zero levels of atmospheric ash for safe flying.
The CAA added that unless jet engine manufacturers changed their operating specifications, something it added was highly unlikely in the short-to-medium term, the restrictions will continue to apply.
Addressing calls from some quarters of the European travel industry to lift or ease flight restrictions, a CAA spokesman said: "We need evidence to prove that it is safe to fly... we have evidence that ash adversely affects aircraft and at the moment the manufacturers' guidelines are zero rating with respect to ash."
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