Ash Cloud Lessons for EU

The European Commission calls the Icelandic volcano and this month’s lingering ash cloud “unprecedented”. Nobody foresaw the mess it would create for airlines.

In an article on the BBC news website, Laurence Peter says critics are saying Europe was ill-prepared for natural disasters. Jo Leinen MEP, a German in the European Socialists and Democrats group, said crisis management in the EU has “many shortcomings.”

Giovanni Bisignani, head of the International Air Transport Association, described the situation as “a European mess” because it took five days to organize a conference call of transport ministers,” Peter writes.

Critics say it was premature of the EU to ground planes, but Eurocontrol stands by its decision to place safety first. Eurocontrol has accepted the need, however, to “move towards a harmonized European approach” rather than the patchwork approach that caused costly and disruptive flight restrictions in the wake of the volcanic eruption.

To read the BBC article, click here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8632034.stm