Ash‐cloud of April and May 2010: Impact on Air Traffic
On Wednesday 14 April 2010 and in the days which followed, an ash cloud spreading South and East from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland triggered the progressive closure of much of European airspace by the respective national authorities. It was the role of EUROCONTROL to communicate these closure (and re‐opening) decisions and to coordinate the flow of traffic.
An event such as this can be studied from a wide range of perspectives: economic, political, operational, meteorological, geological to name but a few. This report focuses on just one perspective: statistics and forecasts. In the coming months and years ‐ when analysing traffic statistics and making forecasts ‐ allowances will need to be made for the ash cloud impact. This report aims to estimate the impact and provide a reference to support this.
EUROCONTROL has also published a timeline of the operational events (reproduced for the record in Annex A). Vice President Kallas of the European Commission has also reported on the impact and discussed political and regulatory responses4 . The present report aims to complement such perspectives using more detailed statistics.