IATA blasts Europe again over volcanic crisis

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on European governments and air navigation service providers to urgently develop more precise procedures to identify ash contaminated air space and allow more flights. The call came in the wake of 1,000 flight cancellations on Monday (17 May) as a result of the continued volcanic eruptions in Iceland. […]


cancelled flights Giovanni Bisignani IATA iceland volcano International Air Transport Association


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on European governments and air navigation service providers to urgently develop more precise procedures to identify ash contaminated air space and allow more flights. The call came in the wake of 1,000 flight cancellations on Monday (17 May) as a result of the continued volcanic eruptions in Iceland. “This problem is not going away any time soon. The current European-wide system to decide on airspace closures is not working. We welcome the operational refinements made by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in their theoretical model, but we are still basically relying on one-dimensional information to make decisions on a four-dimensional problem. The result is the unnecessary closure of airspace. Safety is always our number one priority. But we must make decisions based on facts, not on uncorroborated theoretical models,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s DG and CEO. Bisignani called for: More robust data collection and analysis; a change in the decision making process; and urgency in addressing the issues.