Under threat of another volcano erupting in Iceland, Eurocontrol said it is better prepared to deal with air travel disruptions caused by volcanic ash than it was in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull eruption grounded flights across Europe.
Israel’s Elbit Systems (Hall 1 Stand C14) and Nicarnica Aviation of Norway signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday to implement Nicarnica’s volcanic ash detection technology into Elbit’s enhanced vision system (EVS) cameras on commercial aircraft. The combination will help pilots avoid flying into contaminated areas while still maintaining safe operation in areas affected by volcanic eruptions.
On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.
The flight-test of an experimental technology called Avoid, an infrared camera capable of detecting ash cloud particles before an aircraft might encounter them, has proved successful. Volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded aviation across much of northern Europe for a week in 2010.
UK-based low-cost carrier EasyJet, Airbus and Nicarnica Aviation plan a final test in August of the Nicarnica-developed airborne-volcanic-object imaging detector in a bid to prevent major air traffic disruption like the one the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull caused in 2010.
A special group established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in response to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland in April 2010 has released a series of practical tools and recommendations to “significantly” mitigate the effect of future volcanic events on international aviation operations, ICAO announced on June 26.
For the time being at least, airlines and their passengers appear to have avoided a full-blown rerun of last year’s volcanic ash crisis.
The European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC), which was set up one year ago after the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, was activated on Saturday following the eruption of the Grimsvötn volcano in Iceland.
One year after ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded most aircraft in Europe for several days, ICAO’s European and North Atlantic Volcanic Ash Exercises Steering Group conducted Volcex 11/01, a two-day exercise designed to simulate the effects on air traffic control of the eruption of different Icelandic volcano.
In late April, scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik published the findings of an almost year-long study into last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
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