Forecasters monitor volcanic eruptions as part of the Met Office’s role in the global network of
nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC). Forecasts are provided every six hours giving an 18-hour
prediction of where the volcanic ash cloud is and where the different density levels of volcanic
The Met Office forecast is used to produce a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that advises pilots of
flight safety information. The CAA produces a NOTAM every six hours to inform airlines and airports
where ash is forecast to be and to what level of density.
The main provider of air traffic control services to aircraft flying in UK airspace, and over
the eastern part of the North Atlantic. If an aircraft under NATS’ control is approaching an area
of notified ash the air traffic controller will alert the cockpit crew.
The DfT is the UK Government department responsible for the UK’s transport network, including
Airlines have the responsibility to ensure their flights can operate safely. They can work with
their aircraft and engine manufacturers and their regulator to put together a safety case to fly in
different density levels of ash.
More information about Eyjafjallajokull can be found on their website.
A specialised agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and
orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and
regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for
aviation environmental protection. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all
fields of civil aviation among its 190 Member States.
An intergovernmental organisation made up of 39 Member States and the European Community.
Founded in 1960, it is a civil-military organisation that develops European air traffic control and
airspace regulations and procedures.
The EC body responsible for European civil aviation regulations and also for certifying
airframes and engines. It promotes the highest common standards of safety and environmental
protection in civil aviation both in Europe and worldwide.
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