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Apr 27, 2010 9:29 AM by Associated Press

EU: Airspace closure cost up to $3.3 billion

The European Union says it will move quickly to alleviate the economic impact on civil aviation by last week's volcanic ash cloud, which may have caused economic damage of up to euro 2.5 billion ($3.3 billion).

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas says the EU is working on a package of short-term and structural measures to help the air transport industry.

The closure of a large chunk of European airspace due to the volcanic eruption in southern Iceland caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights, and left 10 million passengers stranded.

Kallas has called an emergency meeting of EU transport ministers May 4 to fast-track the wholesale reform of Europe's fragmented air traffic system. He said Europe needs "a single regulator for a single European sky."

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