SFO Monitoring Iceland Volcano For Possible Flight Delays

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – So far, volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland over the weekend has yet to interfere with European flights to and from San Francisco International Airport, officials said Monday.

Unlike the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull last year that forced thousands of cancellations throughout America and Europe, none of the dozen or so European flights SFO handles each day has been affected by Grimsvotn, Iceland’s most active volcano.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“It hasn’t had an effect on any of the tracks, the North Atlantic tracks, where most aircraft fly. But it is having an impact on some of the local airports in the British Isles,” said SFO spokesman Mike McCarron.

British Airways says all Tuesday morning flights between London and Scotland had been cancelled as a precautionary measure because of forecasts of volcanic ash in Scottish airspace.

Dutch carrier KLM and Easyjet have also canceled flights to and from Scotland and northern England, President Barack Obama cut short his visit to Ireland.

McCarron said SFO was taking a wait and see approach. “It depends on the jet stream, how big the ash cloud is, and where it drifts.”

Doctor Charlie Mandeville with the U.S. Geological Survey said Grimsvotn also disrupted air travel in 2004, 1998 and 1996. He said readings as far back as 2010 suggested that another eruption was imminent.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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