Monday, 19 April 2010

Risk Management - Where Was It?

The reaction of the authorities to the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano has been interesting. The initial reaction to ban all flights was probably the correct thing to do. It gave everyone time to assess the scale of the problems caused by the ash and see where the winds would take the cloud. However, it has taken chaos and a Dunkirk spirit to apparently cause people to think and do a proper assessment of the risks and hazards of flying. The airlines, who need to stop losing money at the current rate, finally got round to sending up some planes and pilots to see what flying with ash in the air was really like. Result - modern planes, well flown to avoid the worst of the ash, cope very well.

Now all we have to do is work out how to get all the poor souls who have been stranded back to where they want to go.

Seriously, after day 1 and, perhaps, 2, this has not been one of the finest hours for the aviation authorities of Europe. I can't help thinking that our American cousins would have managed it differently.

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