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Volcanic ash: "Made in Austria" for uninterrupted air traffic over Europe

Aircraft on runway © Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH

© Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH

24. June 2010

Aircraft from the Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries flew through the clouds of the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcano and measured the levels of ash concentration. This is saving Europe from another bout of chaos costing billions from unnecessarily cancelled flights.

There was massive disruption to European air traffic in April caused by the dangerous cloud of ash over the southern tip of Iceland. The consequences were unparalleled: millions of travellers were stuck, the cost to airlines and airports rose to billions of Euros. Since then the Eyjafjallajökull volcano has fallen dormant once again. Over the past few weeks air traffic over Europe has been almost uninterrupted and thanks for this must also go to an Austrian company.

Aircraft developed by Diamond Aircraft Industries from Wiener Neustadt (Lower Austria) – fitted with highly sensitive sensors – were used in a considerable number of test flights in Iceland and the areas over Europe affected by the cloud of ash. Preliminary tests showed that the Diamond DA42 MPP Guardian in particular is ideal for taking measurement readings in this ash cloud. Fitted with innovative air filters, this multi-purpose aircraft can even fly unimpaired in airspace with high aerosol concentrations.

Flying through the volcanic ash cloud showed that the concentration of ash was merely a fraction of that which international experts had feared. This was a good enough reason for the decision-makers to give European air traffic the all clear.