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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

Old 20th Apr 2010, 19:55
  #2001 (permalink)  
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Personally I'd rather be regulated by over-caution than cowboy when so many lives are at stake.
There's a massive gaping chasm of reasonableness in between those two extremes
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 19:55
  #2002 (permalink)  
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Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Tuesday April 20, 2040

Response to CAA statement
NATS has received new direction from the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, on applying restrictions to UK airspace following the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
As soon as revised accurate information is available from the MET Office on the location of the dense ash cloud, NATS will review airspace availability and provide an update to airline operators on any airspace that has been restricted for safety reasons. We will issue a further statement by 2200.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 19:57
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EGLD - yes, and that gap is filled with lots of stuff called hindsight.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 19:58
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Nothing yet from Ryanair ... no flights to Ireland until Friday they were saying earlier I think? How come BA can drop in at Shannon then?

PS I liked the Dads Army graphical anology earlier
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 19:59
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Forget your human factors and let commercial pressures lead the way.This sudden change goes against the grain for the wrong reasons !!!

Whilst i am glad that airspace is now starting to reopen and we can all travel safely.

Political flip flopping isn't the way
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:00
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Until I see some a/c on finals into LHR I wouldn't assume anything. There's a lot going on right now and whilst the change of directive appears to have occured suddenly, I think the most important matter is safe landings into LHR if this is what has been decided. No doubt there will be many 'post match' reviews in the coming days. So for the first time in a while I'm happy to track the inbounds and hope we have no issues.

And is that an Iceland Air that's popping down to LHR? How poetic...
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:06
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....... and that 1800Z map shows the London Airports as engulfed in the same alleged 'ash cloud' defined precisely with its accompanying "UNKNOWN ASH CONCENTRATIONS" footnote as we have be looking at for the past six days.

Tell me that NATS haven't been making UK Controlled Airspace closure decisions based on this ill-defined data.....

Clearly the entire aviation industry has an awful lot of homework to do to make a much better go of it next time. As a society we could also look at not being so dependent on intenational air navigation in future.....

Finally, what do we do when the volcano continues to erupt and the wind (meterological or political) changes direction in the next few days!
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:15
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Just a note of caution, until every aircraft lands safely without incident due to volcanic ash, and engines have been inspected as now required by the CAA, we will not know for sure if this was the correct decision.........time will tell
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:16
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Level of Ash

WW interview on sky was impressive, is it correct that the levels of ash in the UK are much much lower than those other times that caused problems?
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:16
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.. and presumably with a full inspection post landing having deliberately flown through identified volcanic ash during the descent.

This is NOT how aviation safety should be.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:18
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@KingCaptain re Walsh:

I know you're joking and yes, agreed, the prospect of WW, Superhero, is, well, diverting.

But things really will surely have reached a pretty dire state of affairs if Walsh somehow comes to be represented as the champion of reason: I've been uncomfortable with BA's strategy right from early this morning.

Media is of course simplistic and populist and seeing the world in black and white without any allowance for particulates means they could now reduce this episode to the level of good guy v bad guy.

For which reason, I'm fully expecting that the flight crew of the Isle of Man meandering BA084 inbound from Vancover but now heading towards what I'm presuming will be a TV-chronicled live LHR landing could finish up being the new tabloid pin-up people of the hour.

They won't want that and neither the industry nor the pax need it.

But all the journalists assiduously reading PPRuNE will doubtless care little about that.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:20
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I am normally not a big fan of WW, but I must admit tonight he was very fluent. I am glad he is planning on investigating the actions taken (or not taken ) by the UK PLC, DFT, CAA, NATS , MET Office.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:20
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Whoa there folks...good news indeed. However,

there is still ash up there. Ash quanities may be small, but it seems to be down to airlines to risk assess and NOT to fly if it is still too dangerous.

Safe flying!
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:21
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Scientific Data / Report available

A report of the scientific flight from Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany with the research aircraft Falcon 20E D-CMET, that was performed successfully yesterday and took measurements is available.
The report can be downloaded as PDF from http://www.bmvbs.de/Anlage/original_...April-2010.pdf
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:23
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CAA statment

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s independent specialist regulator with oversight of aviation safety, today issues new guidance on the use of airspace. This is issued in conjunction with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and covers the Anglo Irish Functional Airspace Block (FAB).

The new guidance allows a phased reintroduction from 2200 tonight of much of the airspace which is currently closed due to the volcanic ash plume over the UK. There will continue to be some ‘no fly zones’ where concentrations of ash are at levels unsafe for flights to take place, but very much smaller than the present restrictions. Furthermore, the Met Office advise that the ‘no fly zones’ do not currently cover the UK.

“Making sure that air travellers can fly safely is the CAA’s overriding priority.

“The CAA has drawn together many of the world’s top aviation engineers and experts to find a way to tackle this immense challenge, unknown in the UK and Europe in living memory. Current international procedures recommend avoiding volcano ash at all times. In this case owing to the magnitude of the ash cloud, its position over Europe and the static weather conditions most of the EU airspace had to close and aircraft could not be physically routed around the problem area as there was no space to do so. We had to ensure, in a situation without precedent, that decisions made were based on a thorough gathering of data and analysis by experts. This evidence based approach helped to validate a new standard that is now being adopted across Europe.

“The major barrier to resuming flight has been understanding tolerance levels of aircraft to ash. Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low ash density areas.”

Our way forward is based on international data and evidence from previous volcanic ash incidents, new data collected from test flights and additional analysis from manufacturers over the past few days. It is a conservative model allowing a significant buffer on top of the level the experts feel may pose a risk.

In addition, the CAA’s Revised Airspace Guidance requires airlines to:
· conduct their own risk assessment and develop operational procedures to address any remaining risks;
· put in place an intensive maintenance ash damage inspection before and after each flight; and
· report any ash related incidents to a reporting scheme run by the CAA.

The CAA will also continue to monitor the situation with tests both in the air and on the ground.

so how will they inspect after every flight when many airlines go to airports were they have no one to inspect them
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:24
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He's just taken a right turn and been put in a hold, is there some high level decision making still going on? Both of these planes went screaming direct to EGLL and EGKK only to get put back into holding.
Surely the last thing you want is putting in some extra time in contaminated airspace? I've avoided bafflement to the best of my ability, but at this point the biscuit is begging to be taken...
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:26
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maybe the powers that be are now using a different analysis provider-
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:27
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This worries me

The notions that airlines are now responsible for deciding if it safe to fly concerns me. Why is an ash concentration that was considered dangerous yesterday now considered safe tomorrow? NATS and the met-office don't have to answer to shareholders which is why I trust them rather than a bunch of airline execs paid bonuses.

Frankly I'm disgusted by Willy Walsh and BA and the fact that they have leant on the regulator in this way (and I'm usually very pro BA) I have to admire O'Leary (and I'm normally far from a fan of his!!) but actually ironically Ryanair seems far more bothered by the risks of this than BA do - and I never thought I'd say that...

Safety is safety whatever it costs. I personally am not ken to fly tomorrow because I have yet to hear scientific evidence to confirm it is safe.

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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:28
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He's just taken a right turn and been put in a hold, is there some high level decision making still going on? Both of these planes went screaming direct to EGLL and EGKK only to get put back into holding...
Obviously they are being kept in holds to ensure they arrive after 2100z, and not a minute before!

Even though the decision has been made to reopen EGLL, Nats presumably want to be seen to be retaining the upper hand. Silly really. They should be more concerned with just getting them back on tierra firme - must be some tired crew and pax up there, needlessly holding in my opinion.
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Old 20th Apr 2010, 20:32
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BA must have planned this...

How long have those flights been circling for? And now they're still meandering and giving their pax an aerial tour of various bits of Britain, circling here there and everywhere to meet that 10pm openning.

So I'm assuming they all loaded FAR more contingency/diversion fuel than usual, which suggests to me, given the meeting Willie has had this evening, that he rather planned this whole operation, knowing the bad PR the government would get if all these flights were diverted and more pax stranded, when the rest of Europe is open.

Very clever tactics for now, but I will reserve judgement on whether this is the right decision, it does seem aviation safety decisions are being made for political reasons, which puts us on a very very slippery slope we really don't want to be near. However, I do tend to trust Willie Walsh is an intelligent enough man to know a fleet of ash-damaged aircraft would cost far more than waiting till the winds change on fri/sat so I assume he has good reason to believe the air is OK.
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