This blog post was updated on August 5, 2014.


Europe to enforce new procedures to reduce flight cancelations


European air safety is proposing a set of new procedures that will aim to decrease airspace closures due to volcanic ash significantly, said a spokesperson on Wednesday.


Daniel Hoeltgen claimed the new solution would adopt the U.S. practice of enforcing a 120 mile no fly buffer zone for aircrafts in the vicinity of visible ash cloud.
The change has yet to be approved but would greatly differ from previous practices in Europe.


Last month a significant part of airspace in Europe was shut down from the ash of the Icelandic volcano. Many cities have condemned the move an unnecessary overreaction.


The ash plume forced 100,000 flights to be canceled, causing hundreds of passengers to be stranded and inconvenienced, and it created a direct loss of more than $1.3 billion to airlines.


“I can confirm that the agency has been discussing a new solution to the renewed threat of airspace closures due to the volcanic ash cloud,” Hoeltgen said.


“We have put forward a proposal for an air traffic rule, effectively adopting the U.S. rules,” Hoeltgen continued. “But this has yet to be agreed by European authorities.”


A new eruption from the Eyjafjallajokul volcano over the weekend caused lesser disruptions of air traffic between North America and Europe.


However, the cloud floated over the Iberian Peninsula and eventually reaching  the North African coast causing delays in Morocco, Spain, and Turkey.


All airports in Morocco have reopened and air traffic has normalized


Source: Associated Press

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