Apparently the well known budget airline easyJet has just recently unveiled a new radar system that will allow airlines to safely fly around ash clouds. This means that more airlines would still be able to fly during volcanic eruptions.
This new technology actually uses infra red. This system is able to highlight potentially damaging particles within 100km radius. This would give pilots tons of time to change course and continue their flight safely. All in all, leading to less cancellations.
The system is being called Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector. Since that is a long name for people to call it, the system is also called AVOID. It is the first of its kind and aims to prevent the repeat chaos that was seen with the closure of European airspace due to the last volcano eruption from Iceland.
The system is going to first be tested by Airbus on behalf of easyJet within the next two months. The budget carrier hopes to have the system in operation on 12 planes by the end of the year. The system already has the backing of the Civil Aviation Authority. This is the same agency that decides whether it is safe to fly through ash or not. The group has come under a lot of criticism lately from airlines over the group’s very cautious stance the lead to airspace closures.
The chief executive of easyJet, Andy Harrison, said that this pioneering new technology is the silver bullet that will make large scale ash disruptions a thing of the past. This new ash detector will enable their planes to see and avoid the ash clouds. It’s much like airborne weather radars and weather maps that make thunderstorms visible.