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Grounded French Planes Return to Air

8 years ago200 views

France is letting planes take off, after air flights were grounded by volcanic ash covering most of Europe. But a French aviation group warns testing methods used by authorities are unscientific and dangerous.

Paris airports are going to reopen at 8 a.m .today for flights to the south of the country.

[Jean-Louis Borloo, French Environment Minister]: (Male, French)
"This should permit the reopening of limited connections, supervised, with tests still, and notably the reopening of Ile de France (Paris region) and from there the whole of the zone."

…but not without caution…


But a French pilots' union claims that test plans are not enough to guarantee it’s safe enough to fly passengers.

[Louis Jobard, National Union for Airline Pilots President]: (Male, French)
"Airline planes aren't test planes; all you can say when they've done a sector is yes, we encountered volcanic dust during the flight or no we didn't. And if they don't encounter it, obviously, that means there wasn't any on their journey, which doesn't mean that there wasn't any nearby."

The union says that all European states are equipped to do more thorough air mass analyses to prevent dangers.


There are other dangers too.


These passengers may not be so keen to wait, having traveled hundreds of miles on the surface to Paris in a desperate attempt to get home.

Trains from the capital - including those to Calais and the Eurostar to London - are booked up until Thursday, with many believing that airports would not reopen for several days.

Some passengers in Paris journeyed by taxi, hired car and train from as far away as Italy and Spain to return to Britain.

One man drove from Paris to Germany to find a flight back to Canada.

The Red Cross set up tents in a sports hall in Paris to accept passengers stranded and otherwise facing another night at the airport or station.

Many now hope that this is their last stop from home.

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