Volcanic ash shuts down Iceland airport
A NASA satellite picture on Thursday shows Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano continuing to emit a dense plume of ash and steam.
- Volcanic ash forced the closing of Iceland's main airport Friday
- Officials said they hope to reopen Keflavik International Airport at midnight (8 p.m. ET)
- Volcanic ash reduces visibility, can lead to engine failure
(CNN) -- Volcanic ash forced the closing of Iceland's main airport Friday.
Officials said they hope to reopen Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavík at midnight (8 p.m. ET).
Earlier this week, ash from an Icelandic volcano shut down traffic at airports from central Spain to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, air traffic control authorities said.
The problems began in mid-April, when the volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland erupted and sent a cloud of ash into the atmosphere, disrupting international travel for several days.
Volcanic ash can be a serious hazard to aircraft, reducing visibility, damaging flight controls and ultimately causing jet engines to fail.
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