Volcano cancels flights

The Canadian Press – | Stories: 421289

Some flights out of northern British Columbia are canceled due to ash from a Russian volcano that erupted thousands of kilometers away.

Air Canada says it is monitoring the ash cloud from the Shiveluch Volcano, which caused the cancellation of some of its regional flights to and from Prince Rupert and Terrace on Thursday.

It says in an email that more schedule adjustments could occur depending on the direction of the ash cloud.

The volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula erupted Tuesday and sent up an ash cloud 10 kilometers high.

Alaska Airlines also canceled more than two dozen flights in the state, citing safety concerns as volcanic ash can cause a jet engine to shut down.

Carman Hendry, the manager of Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace-Kitimat, said WestJet has also canceled flights into the airport because the planes would have to fly through the ashes.

“Better down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing they were down here,” he said in an interview Thursday.

Hendry said he was unsure how many flights would be affected, but the airport was not expecting any more incoming flights for the rest of the day.

The ash cloud drifted over Alaska air space in the last few days, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said in a statement. “Although this cloud poses a potential hazard to aviation and has disrupted some flights, no ashfall is expected in the Alaskan community,” he said.

Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka Peninsula’s most active volcanoes, started erupting early Tuesday, spewing ash more than 500 kilometers northwest. Several Russian villages were covered in gray volcanic dust in the largest fallout in nearly 60 years.

Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and has been used as an industrial abrasive. The powdered rock can cause a jet engine to shut down.