Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres

The CAA's role in detecting and monitoring the existence of volcanic ash in airspace.

The UK has accepted responsibility for providing one of nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC) around the world. The other VAACs are located at Toulouse, Montreal, Washington, Anchorage, Tokyo, Darwin, Wellington and Buenos Aires.

The VAACs are required to monitor satellite data to detect the existence and extent of volcanic ash in the atmosphere within their area of responsibility, forecast the movement of the volcanic ash using numerical trajectory and dispersion models and issue advisory information regarding the extent and forecast movement of the volcanic ash.

Our role

The CAA sets the requirements for volcanic ash products that are required, taking into account the ICAO Annex 3 requirements as well as the supplementary requirements contained within the ICAO Europe/North Atlantic Regions Volcanic Ash Contingency Plan and UK-specific requirements.

The CAA also participates in the tasking of the Met Office Civil Contingencies Aircraft, which is instrumented to detect and measure volcanic ash, that will be able to provide information that can be used as an input to the forecast and also validate the predictions of where ash is.