1. Meridian

Volcanic ash threat to flights

Easyjet is the biggest airline in the south and is leading the way in trying to reduce disruption caused by volcanic ash. They have revealed to ITV News Meridian that in 2010 the ash crisis cost them £55m.

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Tonne of ash to be used in flight test

EasyJet and its partners Airbus and Nicarnica are planning the final stage of testing for the AVOID technology. Over the weekend they flew back a tonne of volcanic ash from Iceland collected by the Institute of Earth Sciences in Reykjavik. It will be used for testing by Airbus & Oxford University.

The ash, dried to create the consistency of fine talc, will be used in a unique experiment which is planned for this summer. T

The next phase of testing will involve two Airbus test planes, one of which has the ability to disperse the ash into the atmosphere, thereby creating an artificial ash cloud for a second Airbus test aircraft with the AVOID technology fitted to detect and avoid at over 30,000ft.

The threat from Icelandic volcanoes continues and so finalising the approval of the AVOID technology is as crucial now as ever to ensure we never again see the scenes of spring 2010 when all flying ceased for several days.

Transporting a tonne of volcanic ash from Iceland is an important step in the final journey of testing the technology and moving towards commercial certification

– Ian Davies, easyJet's Engineering Director

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