The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a separation error between two Airbus A330s on March 30 in the far-northwest corner of the continent.
Ash from a volcano in Iceland brought disruption to European air transport last month on a scale that far exceeded the combined efforts of global terrorism and the financial crisis. Huge swaths of the continent’s airspace were closed for prolonged periods and hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded at various points around the world for days on end.
Some flights to large parts of Europe resumed today after six days of widespread disruption caused by ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland. Following the political intervention of European Union transport ministers late yesterday, restrictions were partially lifted in some countries but there was little or no flying in a core area of northern Europe.
Eurocontrol is evaluating proposals to introduce new “charging volumes for airspace” in which different ATC fees would apply for using different parts of Europe’s airspace. This would result in operators paying higher rates for using lower flight levels and particularly busy airspace sectors, such as those in southeast England.
Phase One of a proposal by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to improve airspace capacity will require aircraft owners in the UK to upgrade to a Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) Mode-S transponder by March 31, 2012. In addition, all new installations of SSR transponders must be Mode-S compliant beyond March 31 next year.