British Airline to Use New Ash Cloud Detection Device

8 June 2010 (Last Updated June 8th, 2010 18:30)

Budget British airline easyJet plans to test fly a new device that will be capable of detecting ash clouds and minimising future disruption. The air carrier will be the first in the world to test the airborne volcanic object identifier and detector (AVOID), which works in a similar way

Budget British airline easyJet plans to test fly a new device that will be capable of detecting ash clouds and minimising future disruption.

The air carrier will be the first in the world to test the airborne volcanic object identifier and detector (AVOID), which works in a similar way to weather radars on planes.

Developed by the Norwegian Institute for Air, the system provides images to enable pilots to see an ash cloud up to 100km ahead of the aircraft and at altitudes between 5,000ft and 50,000ft.

Norwegian Institute for Air Research senior scientist Dr Fred Prata said that AVOID enhances the theory around volcanic ash clouds with live data.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) chief executive Andrew Haines said that the CAA welcomes the fact that airlines are considering innovations such as this and will do all it can to facilitate them.

Airbus will undertake the first test flight for easyJet on an A340 within two months and the carrier plans to install the device on its aircraft based on the results.