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European volcanic ash contingency exercise

The ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) held a Volcanic Ash Crisis Exercise on 28 November 2018 with a simulated eruption of Öræfajokull in Iceland.  The simulation was designed to impact upon a large part of northern, western and eastern Europe, extending to the southern tip of Italy. The exercise, called VOLCEX 18, was the latest of such annual events designed to test the reactiveness of all players involved in the industry that could be effected by a volcanic eruption in EU airspace.

The exercise involved the participation of numerous airline operators, ANSPs, regulators and other crisis coordination cells.  The objective of the exercise was the same as the previous event (VOLCEX 17) with it being an opportunity for each individual state to test the effectiveness of their national crisis procedures, and for all the participants to test the effectiveness of their local volcanic ash contingency plans and/or procedures.    

This year’s VOLCEX exercise (VOLCEX 19) will simulate an explosive eruption of volcano Vesuvius in Italy resulting in a simulated volcanic ash cloud expected to impact a large region from the Atlantic coast of Portugal to the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas with the southern extent to the Red Sea and northern extent to the Alps, southern Poland, Ukraine and Russian Federation. The exercise will be held on 20 November 2019. 

For further information on VOLCEX 19 and a debrief from VOLCEX 18, please refer to the downloads section on this page.

For further details please contact: christopher.mason@eraa.org