Better co-ordination and a lower ash threshold could prevent a repeat of 2010’s travel chaos.
The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull will be remembered for a long time – but not because of its size.
The eruption was quite small, but it managed to cause travel chaos across Europe for six days in April 2010. Twenty countries shut down their airspace because of fears about the ash cloud emitted by the volcano, affecting ten million passengers.
What made the disruption all the more frustrating was that it was entirely avoidable. Looking back, analysts admit that many of the closures had been unnecessary – a result of poor co-ordination and national air traffic control operators copying neighbouring countries rather than following meteorological advice…
Note to readers:
The full version of this article is available online. It was published by Dave Keating on behalf of the EuropeanVoice on 25 August.
ENHANCE has a dedicated case study on air industry response to volcanic eruption. It offers the expertise and the analysis to improve the air trafic management in case of volcanic eruption.