Global Airport News
Iceland has closed its main international airport and cancelled domestic flights after its most active volcano, Grimsvotn, began erupting on Saturday
A plume of smoke has risen 20km (12 miles) into the sky from the Grimsvotn volcano. The website of newspaper Morgunbladid said the eruption was more powerful than its last in 2004.
But Iceland's Meteorological Office says the eruption should not cause widespread disruption to air traffic.
Authorities banned flights close to the Grimsvotn volcano but an official said the eruption was not expected to affect European airline traffic at least for the next 24 hours.
Last year, ash clouds from another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokul, led to the closure of a large section of European airspace.
Governments feared that ash particles could cause aircraft engines to fail, and the closure caused chaos to air travellers.
"We have closed the area until we know better what effect the ash will have," said Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, spokeswoman for the Isavia civil aviation authority which has imposed a flight ban of 120 nautical miles around the area.
Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull caused chaos when it erupted in April last year. Authorities halted flights due to fears that dust and ash would get into aircraft engines and cause accidents after the cloud was blown into European air traffic lanes.
Grimsvotn lies under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland, the largest glacier in Europe. When it last erupted in 2004 transatlantic flights had to be re-routed south of Iceland, but no airports were closed.
Gudmundsdottir said the winds in the area were strong and that Isavia and the Icelandic meteorological office were coordinating with Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC), which advise airlines about the movement of clouds of volcanic ash.
There are two VAACs near Iceland, in London and the French city of Toulouse.
"It can be a big eruption, but it is unlikely to be like last year," Icelandic Met Office geologist Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson said, referring Eyjafjallajokull.
He said the plume from Grimsvotn was going to the north and that the office's forecast for the next 24 hours was that ash would not affect European airline traffic.
The volcano could erupt for several days, he added.
One positive factor for air traffic was that the ash from this eruption was heavier, whereas the ash last year was lighter and so drifted further.