imagePilots to Congress: Volcanic Ash Threat Requires More Research

May 6, 2010 - In testimony before a Congressional subcommittee this week, the world’s largest pilots union called for conducting comprehensive research and collecting more data on the safety hazard posed by volcanic ash. The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) also encouraged the airline industry to improve methods to detect ash, strengthen certification standards, and enhance pilot and controller training to better protect the traveling public.

“The recent Icelandic eruption demonstrated a lack of standardization between the various forecasts available to flight crews and dispatchers,” Capt. Linda Orlady, ALPA’s Executive Air Safety Vice-Chair, said in her testimony (oral testimony | written submission) before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. “As operations resumed in Europe, we received reports from pilots at different airlines, who were given conflicting information in their dispatch release documents.”