Impacts and responses of icelandic aviation to the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption: Case study

Gudmundur Freyr Ulfarsson*, Elizabeth A. Unger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite volcanic eruptions in earlier times, the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull in April and May 2010 served as a climactic point in aviation history. Stakeholders in the air traffic industry were forced to reevaluate policies, safety standards, and guidelines and to seek new methods for data collection. The geographic location of Iceland in the Northern Atlantic air traffic region places it in a critical location. Volcanic eruptions there can radically affect the European and North Atlantic air traffic. The sequence of events is described, and the impacts from an Icelandic perspective are highlighted. Interviews with key authorities in the Icelandic aviation community revealed important issues that must be addressed. They relate specifically to updating the notice-toairmen messaging system, enhancing the ash-monitoring and -forecasting system, and developing policies that provide structure for all stakeholders to harmonize their decisions and actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2214
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

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