Air Traffic Management http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net STRATEGY, TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT FOR THE WORLD'S MOST GLOBAL INDUSTRY Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:48:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Commission drops Thames estuary airport http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/09/commission-drops-thames-estuary-airport/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/09/commission-drops-thames-estuary-airport/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:48:11 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26193 More ››]]> The UK Airports Commission has opted not to add the inner Thames estuary airport proposal to its shortlist of options for providing new airport capacity by 2030.

Following detailed further study into the feasibility of an inner Thames estuary airport the commission has concluded that the proposal has substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits.

Airports Commission Chair Sir Howard Davies said: “We are not persuaded that a very large airport in the Thames estuary is the right answer to London’s and the UK’s connectivity needs.

“While we recognise the need for a hub airport, we believe this should be a part of an effective system of competing airports to meet the needs of a widely spread and diverse market like London’s.

“There are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary. The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount. Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70 to £90 billion with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30 to £60 billion in total.

“There will be those who argue that the commission lacks ambition and imagination. We are ambitious for the right solution. The need for additional capacity is urgent. We need to focus on solutions which are deliverable, affordable, and set the right balance for the future of aviation in the UK.”

The commission said it had received and developed a substantial body of evidence that it considered very carefully over a number of months before reaching this decision.

Alongside the announcement the commission has published a paper in which it sets out in more detail the reasoning behind its decision.

The commission will now continue its appraisal of the 3 shortlisted proposals for additional capacity and will publish the appraisal for public consultation in the autumn.

The Airports Commission was set up by the government in November 2012 as an independent body to examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub. It will identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term.

In its interim report published in December 2013 the commission identified a need for 1 net new additional runway in London and the south east and it shortlisted 3 proposals to deliver this capacity for further, detailed appraisal:

  • a proposal from Gatwick Airport Ltd for an additional runway to the south of the existing runway at Gatwick Airport
  • a proposal from Heathrow Airport Ltd for an additional runway to the north west of the existing northern runway at Heathrow Airport
  • a proposal from Heathrow Hub Ltd for an extension to the existing northern runway at Heathrow Airport to operate as 2 separate runways

In the report, the commission also announced its intention to carry out further study into the feasibility of an airport in the inner Thames estuary before taking a decision on whether or not to add this option to its shortlist.

In January 2014 the commission announced it would conduct feasibility studies on 4 aspects of an inner Thames estuary airport the:

  • environment impacts (study 1)
  • operational feasibility and attitudes to moving to a new airport (study 2)
  • socio-economic impacts (study 3)
  • surface access impacts (study 4)

At the same, the commission launched a call for evidence inviting interested parties to submit evidence in relation to the 4 study areas, with a deadline of 23 May 2014. Just over 170 responses were received, and were considered by the commission as it developed the studies.

The commission carried out further consultation in July 2014 on the studies themselves. The final decision and summary of consultation responses has been published today.

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Quintiq assists KLM pilot work planning http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/09/quintiq-assists-klm-pilot-work-planning/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/09/quintiq-assists-klm-pilot-work-planning/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:25:39 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26191 More ››]]>  

Supply chain planning and optimisation business Quintiq and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has rolled out its software platform to optimise its workforce planning strategies for pilot management.

KLM pilots are each trained for a specific function, so career transitions such as a promotion would affect schedules that may have been planned up to three years in advance. Given the scale of coordinating thousands of pilots across multiple functions, KLM’s planners faced massive challenges in creating schedules one to three years ahead. Furthermore, these advanced schedules had to anticipate flight demand, accommodate pilots’ vacation requests, adjust for career transitions and adhere to evolving labor laws.

Using Quintiq’s software platform, planners now have the strategic support to efficiently develop and revise plans that span years and account for changes. Prior to the implementation of Quintiq software platform, KLM’s planners could take up to a month to complete the development of a three-year plan. With the Quintiq solution, KLM planners can develop a three-year plan overnight. The elimination of repetitive planning and increased efficiency enable planners to also simulate the results of different strategic decisions in order to make the optimal choice.

Quintiq’s software platform is also key to helping KLM reduce costs incurred from dealing with pilot understaffing. The solution accounts for the introduction of new aircraft types, pilot retirements and other disruptions, allowing the planners to make the changes needed to keep schedules running smoothly.

Using expected flight demand as a guide, the Quintiq software platform shows KLM’s planners the available balance for each function per week, with less capacity available around popular vacation times. Planners, aided by the solution’s optimization capability, grant or decline leave requests in accordance with a strict procedure that dictates the order in which the requests should be processed.

The Quintiq software platform will facilitate employee satisfaction by ensuring pilots’ function requests are met and their vacation requests are processed effectively. Overall, KLM will benefit from having a solution that optimizes a fully transparent strategic and tactical plan, enabling it to maintain operational strength at optimal cost.

“KLM needed a flexible solution that could efficiently manage the important aspects of pilot staffing and keep workforce-related costs minimal,” said Pieter Wensveen, VP Finance and Crew Planning at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. “Quintiq’s knowledge of our business has impressed us, and we are delighted that the roll-out is complete.”

“We are pleased to optimize KLM’s pilot transition process and assist in planning training and vacation schedules. We are growing our presence in the aviation industry and KLM rolling out our software platform is fantastic validation of our expertise,” said Arjen Heeres, chief operating officer of Quintiq. “We are proud of our Dutch heritage and excited to work on this new project with our national airline.”

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Increased Bardarbunga activity sparks red alert http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/increased-bardarbunga-activity-sparks-red-alert/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/increased-bardarbunga-activity-sparks-red-alert/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:18:27 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26186 More ››]]> The aviation alert status of the Icelandic Volcano Bardarbunga has been changed to code RED.

Eurocontrol, the European air navigation safety agency reported that at 13.00 there had been no ash cloud observed and referred operators to consult NOTAM 0288/14.

“There is currently no detection of ash by radar nor observation of Volcanic Ash cloud in the atmosphere near the site,” it added.

Eurocontrol said no further advisories will be issued unless conditions change.

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DFS ready for COMSOFT SDDS-NG http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/dfs-ready-for-comsoft-sddsng/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/dfs-ready-for-comsoft-sddsng/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:39:27 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26180 More ››]]> Germany’s DFS, is ready to roll out COMSOFT’s state-of-the-art Surveillance Data Distribution System (SDDS-NG), at its four ATM centres across Germany, allowing for advanced exchange of surveillance data over an IP-based network.

SDDS-NG is COMSOFT’s answer to an evolving ATC industry that requires more flexibility and greater efficiency of data exchange. SDDS-NG continues the extensive success of COMSOFT’s first generation of Radar Message Conversion and Distribution System (RMCDS) for NATS in the UK or, even more prominently, the flagship product RMCDE, created on behalf of EUROCONTROL.

It therefore supports full integration and interoperability with the European Radar Data Network (RADNET). By directly incorporating legacy serial interfaces and a multitude of communication protocols and data formats, still in use around the world – a distinct feature proven to be unique to SDDS-NG from COMSOFT – SDDS-NG has been made fit for the next generation.

German ATC expert COMSOFT and German ANSP DFS have worked together for over 20 years, since carrying out RMCDE and, with its unmatched track record, DFS selected COMSOFT’s next generation solution in light of their past experience in COMSOFT’s performance and quality. Thorough and comprehensive testing of SDDS-NG was also carried out by DFS in 2013, proving the system’s ability and proficiency.

More than three million aircraft take off from, land on, or fly over German territory each year, and the network of eight SDDS-NG systems, located at four German Air Traffic Control centres in Karlsruhe, Munich, Langen near Frankfurt and Bremen, will be of considerable benefit to German ATC, initially running in parallel with DFS current RADNET, set to run for the next few years.

The advanced SDDS-NG system is already in use by the Brazilian Airforce (Força Aérea Brasileira – FAB), Isavia of Iceland, and in Indonesia, as well as an integral part of a number of further projects.

SDDS-NG facilitates a uniform connection of all surveillance sensors using the ASTERIX standard. It was designed and developed to cover complete surveillance requirements, while also recognising and complying with latest safety standards.

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GroupEAD works on Pacific island safety http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/groupead-instrument-approaches-for-pacific-island/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/groupead-instrument-approaches-for-pacific-island/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:55:38 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26177 More ››]]> Just a stone’s throw from Vanuatu’s tiny Lonorore Airport, on Pentecost Island, an ancient ‘’land diving” tradition is attracting worldwide interest in this remote corner of the Pacific.

Accessing this remote spot, however, is notoriously weather dependent.  Airways New Zealand and GroupEAD have been working with the Vanuatu civil aviation authority to develop a solution for the local airfield.

Following months of consultation and support, GroupEAD Asia Pacific – an Airways subsidiary – is visiting Pentecost this week, assisting the Department of Civil Aviation Vanuatu to increase the accessibility of the airport.

“Until now, our island hasn’t had any instrument approaches, so in bad weather or low visibility, aircraft haven’t been able to use the airfield,” says DCA Vanuatu Director Joseph Niel.

“GroupEAD has been providing us with the advice we need for the design of satellite-based approaches for each end of the runway, which will enable aircraft to land in all weather conditions,” he says.  “We can’t understate the value of this for our island economy, which is increasingly reliant on regular tourism.”

Wayne Smith, GroupEAD Asia Pacific CEO, says the company has spent the last week working with the DCA, and is pleased to be able to assist the developing island.

“While we’re in Vanuatu, the DCA is also taking advantage of our presence to gather some advice on airfield approaches in other locations as well, so it’s very clear how valuable the new approaches will be to this economy,” he says.

Smith says that while his team haven’t personally experienced the death-defying 30-metre land-diving drop the area is renowned for, they have been enjoying the clear aqua waters, pristine forests and the warm welcome of the Pentecost locals during the visit.

 

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Hungarian CPDLC to improve efficiency http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/hungarian-cpdlc-to-improve-efficiency/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/hungarian-cpdlc-to-improve-efficiency/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:28:28 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26174 More ››]]> HungaroControl has launched a large-scale CPDLC (Controller Pilot Data Link Communications) project with the aim of developing the Hungarian air traffic infrastructure with the most modern technology in accordance with European Single European Sky (SES) requirements.

In addition to verbal communication, pilots and controllers will be able to communicate using data link services, by exchanging text messages. The purpose of the high technology programme is to improve flight safety and increase the capacity of Hungarian air navigation by optimising the use of the increasingly saturated radio frequencies.

The project’s total budget amounts to €6.8 million, 80 per cent of which is financed by HungaroControl, while the remaining amount, more than €1.4 million will be co-financed by the European Union through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

CPDLC services will be launched in the Hungarian airspace in February 2015, as a function of the upgraded version of MATIAS (Magyar Automated and Integrated Air Traffic System), one of the world’s most advanced air traffic control systems.

With the introduction of CPDLC, an additional communication channel will be available for pilots and controllers to send non-time critical messages. Thus, in addition to verbal dialogues, information can be exchanged within a shorter time, and as opposed to the previous practice, controllers will be able to communicate with several pilots simultaneously, which will greatly increase air traffic management capacity.

CPDLC will accelerate routine performance, and the congestion of voice channels used in air traffic control may be reduced if the radio frequency load is released. Data link communication will also reduce misunderstandings caused by interferences as well as errors due to aircrew fatigue, as a result of which flight safety will further be improved. HungaroControl’s MATIAS Build 10.1 air navigation software will also be able to prevent accidental posting of messages as a result of ‘misclicking’.

The project includes setting up the communication infrastructure and the establishment of the Hungarian regulatory background, which is in accordance with relevant recommendations of EUROCONTROL (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). The project also contains the selection of the network telecommunication service provider, as well as educational and simulation activities.

“HungaroControl has always been a pioneer in the adoption of new technologies,” stated the service provider. “It was the first in the world to process and display complex data downloaded directly from aircraft for controllers (Mode S technology), and in the Central European region the Hungarian air navigation service provider’s system was the first that was capable of the new, call signal-based identification, which will be mandatorily used all over Europe by 2020.

“HungaroControl is also in the vanguard of developing the CPDLC technology in Europe, and we are convinced that using data link communication may considerably improve flight safety and the capacity of air navigation service providers,” said Kornél Szepessy, chief executive  of HungaroControl.

Introduction of data link services for controller–pilot communication (CPDLC) between the systems used by air traffic control systems and aircraft is required by Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the SES. The European Union’s SES objective mandatorily requires the introduction of this service in the entire European airspace as from February 2015.

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ICAO task force details conflict zone measures http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/icao-task-force-details-conflict-zone-measures/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/icao-task-force-details-conflict-zone-measures/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:50:12 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26170 More ››]]> The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has concluded its second two-day meeting in as many weeks of the Task Force on Risks to Civil Aviation arising from Conflict Zones (TF RCZ), establishing a well-defined overall work programme and two immediate projects.

The first pilot project agreed by the States, regional organisations and wide-ranging industry groups who comprise the TF RCZ will explore how the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system already in place between States and operators could be better used to share urgent and critical conflict zone risk information.

The second project will be piloted by key ICAO partners on a new centralized system to be established for the prompt sharing of conflict zone risk information.

“This has been an especially productive two-day session on what were some very challenging objectives,” stressed TF RCZ Chairman, David McMillan. “We saw some very strong consensus around the two specific projects we’ll now be pursuing and I am very confident that we’ll be submitting a very mature and practical set of proposals to the ICAO Council. These recommendations will help to ensure the safety of civilian passengers and crew, no matter what airline they are flying on or where they are flying.”

The ICAO TF RCZ was convened on an emergency basis in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Its main goal is to refine the roles and procedures relating to the mitigation of conflict zone risks in civilian airspace.

“ICAO’s convening of this Task Force, not to mention the excellent rate of progress it has established to this point, clearly underscores the commitment of States and industry to this important and multidisciplinary challenge,” remarked ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “The safety of the international civil air transport system remains our community’s highest strategic priority and this work is helping us to better understand and eventually mitigate the risks to our passengers and crew arising from conflict zones.”

The TF RCZ will be meeting again in December for its next round of talks but ICAO will be delivering the group’s preliminary findings to the 203rd Session of the ICAO Council in October 2014.

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COMSOFT to transform Estonian surveillance http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/comsoft-to-transform-estonian-surveillance/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/comsoft-to-transform-estonian-surveillance/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:40:10 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26168 More ››]]> Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) has chosen German expert COMSOFT to supply advanced ARTAS to modify their surveillance systems in order to sustain the safety and quality of their services as air traffic volume in the region increases.

ARTAS is EUROCONTROL’s ATM Surveillance Tracker which has evolved over the decades to become Europe’s standard Tracker. Designed to establish an accurate air situation picture over a well-defined geographical area and distribute the relevant surveillance information to a community of user systems, ARTAS is now one of the most advanced and well-established data processing and distribution systems in the world.

EANS manages both domestic and international air traffic in Tallinn TMA and Flight Information Region, which covers the airspace over Estonian territory and some assigned segments over the high seas. Tourism for Estonia has increased for four consecutive years so far up to 2013 and, with demand continuing, further accurate surveillance techniques are essential for capacity growth.

COMSOFT and EANS have worked together on three previous projects since 2009 and in the next move COMSOFT will not only provide the turnkey supply of ARTAS but also its Network Management System (CNMS), for early error detection and troubleshooting, and its next generation of Surveillance Data Distribution System (SDDS-NG) – a highly versatile system for the exchange, conversion and distribution of any kind of surveillance data in heterogeneous ATC/ATM environments.

Tanel Rautits, CEO of EANS said: “We first selected COMSOFT in 2009 for their electronic Aeronautical Information Publishing (eAIP) solution based on their aeronautical database CADAS-AIMDB. Subsequent extension projects included the addition of electronic input forms (eIF) and the supply of CADAS-AIS which are further aiding our information management enhancements. COMSOFT’s professionalism and expertise has continuously ensured us that we are in safe hands and we are more than pleased to be continuing this reliable working relationship. By Implementing ARTAS we hope to increase capacity while improving flight safety and the quality of our services”

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Brussels requests Galileo satellite probe http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/brussels-requests-galileo-satellite-probe/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/brussels-requests-galileo-satellite-probe/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:09:36 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26166 More ››]]> The European Commission has requested Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide full details of the incident following the failure on August 22 to inject Galileo satellites 5 and 6 into the correct orbit, together with a schedule and an action plan to rectify the problem.

According to initial information from Arianespace, the problem involved the upper stage of the launcher, as a result of which the satellites were not injected into the required orbit.

The Commission said it is participating in the Board of Inquiry set up to identify the causes of the problem, which is expected to present preliminary results in the first half of September. This Board of Inquiry will aim to put in place corrective measures at the level of Arianespace to avoid such incidents being repeated with future launches.

ESA has informed the Commission that its Control Centre in Darmstadt (Germany) has the satellites under control, although they are not placed in their intended orbital position. The European Commission is working in close cooperation with the European Space Agency to maximise the possibilities to use the two satellites as part of the Galileo network.

The Commission has set up an internal Task Force to monitor the situation, working in close contact with ESA and Arianespace. Both ESA and Arianespace have been invited to Brussels to present the initial results of their inquiry to European commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship Ferdinando Nelli Feroci in the first week of September.

Commissioner Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, commented “The problem with the launch of the two Galileo satellites is very unfortunate. The European Commission will participate in an inquiry with ESA to understand the causes of the incident and to verify the extent to which the two satellites could be used for the Galileo programme. I remain convinced of the strategic importance of Galileo and I am confident that the deployment of the constellation of satellites will continue as planned.”

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Europe resumes watch for volcanic activity http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/europe-prepares-for-imminent-volcanic-activity/ http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/08/europe-prepares-for-imminent-volcanic-activity/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:07:50 +0000 http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/?p=26154 More ››]]> The aviation alert status of the Icelandic Volcano Bardarbunga has been downgraded to code ORANGE indicating a heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.

The Icelandic volcano Bardarbunga stills shows signs of eruption which prompted European aviation authorities earlier today to raise the alert status to RED indicating that eruption was imminent with significant emission of ash into atmosphere likely.

A danger area has been declared around the volcano and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in London said it would produce a forecast of the likely ash behaviour every six hours. That forecast will highlight the probable location of any medium and high levels of ash density.

Based on the VAAC forecast, Eurocontrol, the European air navigation safety agency that serves as the region’s Network Manager said that in the event of the situation becoming worse, civil aviation authorities could issue their own national notices to airspace users advising them of the location of medium and high density ash areas.

“Using that information and procedures previously agreed with their safety regulator, it is the responsibility of individual airlines to decide whether they will operate and issue their flight plans accordingly,” it said.

UK air traffic control NATS said it was continuing to monitor the situation, although said that as there has still not been any volcanic activity above the surface and the size of the temporary danger area in Iceland has been reduced, it was expecting normal operations today.

“Additional oceanic flight paths have been put in place as a contingency measure and we have updated our airline and airport customers with the latest information and will continue to do so,” it said, pointing out that in cases of volcanic ash, the airline operator is now responsible for ensuring it has the correct approval to fly through areas of ash contamination. “UK airspace will remain open,” it added.

What happens if Bardarbunga erupts? Icelandic Authorities would immediately instigate a 120 nautical mile exclusion zone around the eruption – as per ICAO guidance - and the process would begin to try and understand its severity and how much ash it is expelling into the atmosphere. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) – based at the Met Office – would then produce a forecast of the likely ash behaviour every six hours. That forecast would highlight the probable location of ‘medium’ and ‘high’ levels of ash density. Based on the VAAC forecast, the Civil Aviation Authority will then issue a NOTAM advising airspace users of the location of those medium and high density areas. Using that information and procedures previously agreed with their safety regulator, airlines would then decide whether to operate and would issue their flight plans accordingly. For those that do operate, NATS would continue to provide an air traffic service, routing aircraft around areas of ash as required, much as we do in the event of a thunderstorm. It is important to note that the decision to fly is an operational one taken by airlines in conjunction with their safety regulator. In the event of a volcanic eruption, passengers should always contact their airline as a first point of contact for the latest information.

What happens if Bardarbunga erupts?
Icelandic Authorities would immediately instigate a 120 nautical mile exclusion zone around the eruption – as per ICAO guidance – and the process would begin to try and understand its severity and how much ash it is expelling into the atmosphere.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) – based at the UK Met Office – would then produce a forecast of the likely ash behaviour every six hours. That forecast would highlight the probable location of ‘medium’ and ‘high’ levels of ash density.
Based on the VAAC forecast, the UK Civil Aviation Authority will then issue a NOTAM advising airspace users of the location of those medium and high density areas.
Using that information and procedures previously agreed with their safety regulator, airlines would then decide whether to operate and would issue their flight plans accordingly.
For those that do operate, NATS would continue to provide an air traffic service, routing aircraft around areas of ash as required, much as it does in the event of a thunderstorm.
It is important to note that the decision to fly is an operational one taken by airlines in conjunction with their safety regulator.
In the event of a volcanic eruption, passengers should always contact their airline as a first point of contact for the latest information. Source: NATS

Easyjet, the UK low cost carrier said the airline industry is better prepared now than in 2010, and is remaining as vigilant and well-equipped as possible, with easyJet’s AVOID (Airbourne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector) Unit which offers the ability to detect ash cloud on the ground.

It said this pioneering innovation, first unveiled in 2011 and due to be put into service in 2015, will help the aviation industry to avoid further disruption in European airspace from future volcanic activity by giving airlines the ability to navigate around ash clouds without incurring risk.

“Should there be an eruption, easyJet will work with its partners: Nicarnica, the Icelandic team in FutureVolc, the Institute of Earth Sciences in Iceland, NILU (Norwegian Institute for Air Research) and Airbus to ensure that ash from it is detected and charted from space, using infra-red cameras on European weather satellites, or through the potential airborne deployment of the AVOID technology,” it said.

Read More: Riding The Perfect Storm

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