Interesting video on the Bloomberg website explaining EasyJet’s AVOID technology, which is to be installed on all their aircraft next year. This will be used to detect ash in the atmosphere, so that the airline is not disrupted by this phenomenon as much as it was in 2010 and 2012. Awareness of this has been raised by fears that the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland may be about to erupt.
This is good example of business continuity planning (see page 351). Although I must admit to being slightly confused by what AVOID will exactly enable the airline to do in the event of an ash cloud. As explained in the video, Europe is in a much better position to evaluate the density of ash using satellite technology than it was in the past. So even before take off, airlines will know where to fly and where not to fly. So is AVOID merely an additional safety device designed to ensure that pilots do not stray into unsafe airspace? Given that EasyJet is a short haul carrier, and that ash clouds are very large, surely the technology cannot be used to fly round the phenomenon? And will passengers still want to fly when their route and/or destination is reported to be covered by an ash cloud?