- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2011

A volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is forcing President Obama to change his European travel plans.

The president and first lady were to have spent Monday night in Dublin, Ireland, as the first overnight stop of their six-day trip. But the White House announced that the Obamas instead will fly on Air Force One to London, “due to a recent change in the trajectory in the plume of volcanic ash.”

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic management agency, said on its website Monday there was a “strong possibility that parts of the ash cloud may impact parts of Scotland and Ireland in the coming 24 hours.” The agency said it’s difficult to predict the movements of the cloud beyond that time frame.

Ash particles from the Grimsvotn volcano have closed Iceland’s airspace since Sunday. The eruption has raised fears of a repeat of last year’s travel disruptions, when another volcano in Iceland caused a massive shutdown of European airspace.

The president arrived in Ireland this morning as the first stop on his way to the G-8 summit in Deauville, France, later this week

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