The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) updated its recommendations for operations in European airspace in the event of another nearby volcanic eruption. European air traffic was halted for six days in spring 2010 when an Icelandic volcano eruption spewed ash into the air that eventually made its way to Europe.
Most European states have now decided against another wholesale airspace closure in a similar situation because they recognize individual operators will make their own decisions regarding ash risk assessment. The EASA also determined that coordinating operations through the agency’s volcanic ash risk-assessment database was redundant and has been discontinued.
Under the newly revised safety information bulletin, 2010-17R7, the EASA is recommending that volcanic ash forecasts should be presented in the form of a zoning system that depicts areas of low, medium and high concentrations in three different altitude bands. Additionally, the agency would like ash concentration charts provided by the London and Toulouse volcanic ash advisory centers to identify the three zones as described in the ICAO Volcanic Ash Contingency Plan EUR and NAT Regions.