EasyJet, a British budget airline company, is spending $1.47m (£1m) on developing and testing an infra-red technology system that will make it possible for pilots to observe tiny ash particles up to 62 miles ahead at altitudes between 5,000 and 50,000 feet in order to safely fly around ash clouds by changing the direction of the plane. If the results go on as expected, it will come as a welcome development for many air passengers particularly those who were affected by the recent air traffic delays in Europe caused by Icelandic volcanic ash clouds.
EasyJets chief executive has described the “pioneering technology as the silver bullet that will make large-scale ash disruption history.” The new system will be called the Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (AVOID) and it will be tested by Airbus on behalf of EasyJet in the next couple of months. It will involve placing two cameras with infrared sensors on the aircraft to send images to the pilots and flight control centre.
EasyJet lost about £75m when around 215,000 passengers flights were disrupted as a result of the volcanic ash in April hence the decision to develop and test AVOID. The airline hopes to use the system on 12 of its jets by the end of the year, subject to test results.
Do you think aviation authorities around Europe panicked and were overly cautious by canceling flights during the volcanic ash crisis?
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June 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm
I wish EasyJets best of luck in the testing, it is a good development to over come Icelandic volcanic ash clouds.
The Best of Phoenix
June 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm
I do hope this system works and can be used by all the other airline companies.
The disruption caused by the volcano was huge and left so many people stranded and cause so much inconvenience. I know that when it comes to airplanes better be safe than sorry, but this system will certainly be a great help.
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June 16, 2010 at 1:40 am
It is going to be a great technology and it will help all Airline to resolved this problem of Ash weather system.
August 5, 2010 at 2:11 pm
April 28, 2011 at 8:37 am
Thanks for sharing.
June 24, 2011 at 8:15 am
EasyJet is soon going to be a name to be reckoned with …no doubt about it! This groundbreaking idea has to be really trudged out through any technical peat bog and wishing all the success for it! ‘AVOID’ as the name implies will surely help in avoiding mishaps caused by volcanic ash clouds. This will indeed be the silver bullet that will help mark the name of EasyJet in the annals of aviation history …Take my word for it!
August 13, 2011 at 4:56 am
I think there’s no such thing as being overly careful or cautious when it comes to safety, especially in aviation. I wouldn’t fly out even if they let me, knowing that there is a volcanic ash crisis going on. They just did what they’re supposed to do.