Nightly News | April 16, 2010
>> stopping by tonight .
>>> mother nature reminding all of us this is her planet, not ours. she still runs things. we just think we are masters of the skies. a volcano paralyzed air travel . you still can't fly to london or paris from the united states . europeans can't fly to other cities within europe . president obama may not be able to take air force one to a funeral in poland this weekend. our coverage starts tonight with nbc 's dawna friesen at london 's still -quiet heathrow airport tonight . dawna, good evening .
>> reporter: good evening , brian . what was a bad situation just got worse through the course of today. tonight much of europe remain as no-fly zone. the only ones cleared for take-off at britain 's east midland's airport today were the maintenance crews. no worry about the paint drying on these runways, they are deserted. virtually nothing is flying in northern europe . further south , italian and mediterranean air space is still jam-packed. as the volcanic ash still spreads south and southeast, more countries became no-fly zones today, from britain where planes were grounded for a second day and across northern and central europe to the edge of russia . no flights in 11 countries and limited take-offs and landings in at least six others. 17,
000 flightswere canceled across europe . no one is sure when the skies will clear .
>> it is reasonable to assume there will be some significant disruption of european air traffic tomorrow.
>> reporter: hundreds of thousands of passengers are stranded. some stoically waiting, hoping and napping wherever they can.
>> we would like to get over to poland . it may the not be possible today. you go with the flow.
>> reporter: these stranded belgians were. airport hotels are overflowing. trains are facing unprecedented demand. the eurostar is fully booked until monday. the u.s. military closed down operations at four u.s. air bases in europe including germany. in poland plans are going ahead for the funeral of the country 's president on sunday. if the air space remains closed, many dignitaries may miss it including president obama . over in denmark, they didn't let a volcano spoil a party . denmark's queen went ahead with her lavish 70th birthday even though many couldn't make it. at bristol 's airport runways were open to runners, dogs and even kites. at least something was flying. and when will things get back to normal? no one is predicting. the situation is constantly being reassessed. it was announced tonight the air space over england will remain closed until 1:00 tomorrow. that may well be extended. brian ?
>> dawna friesen starting off our coverage at london heathrow tonight . thanks. then there are the