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Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres

Current Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAA) from London and Toulouse


Nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres around the world are responsible for advising international aviation of the location and movement of clouds of volcanic ash.

Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres

The VAACs are part of an international system set up by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) called the International Airways Volcano Watch (IAVW).

The IAVW was set up in the early 1980s in response to a number of serious incidents in which jet transport aircraft had encountered volcanic ash in flight and lost power on one or more engines. In June 1982, for example, a British Airways Boeing 747 lost all four engines and suffered severe damage on encountering volcanic ash over Indonesia. The aircraft descended to 12,000 feet before being able to restart some engines and make an emergency landing in Jakarta.

The IAVW comprises observations of volcanic ash from volcano observatories and other organisations, satellites and aircraft in flight, the issue of warnings in the form of NOTAM and SIGMET messages and, since the mid 1990s, the issue of volcanic ash advisory messages from the VAACs identifying areas of volcanic ash and their predicted movement.

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