Air Navigation

Published: Friday, 10 September 2010 13:21

A plan of contingency against the clouds of volcanic ash.

As part of the implementation of conclusion 14/42 of the APIRG / 14 meeting for the countries of the Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI) region, the ICAO Regional Office for West and Central Africa Organized from 23 to 25 August 2010 in Yaoundé, a seminar on coordination between air traffic services, meteorological services to air navigation and pilots. This meeting was sponsored by the Cameroon Aeronautical Authority.

The recent volcanic eruption in Iceland and the existence of the three volcanoes in operation in the ICAO WACAF region justify the holding of the Yaounde seminar. Civil aviation experts from the ICAO Area States (AFI) analyzed the state of relations between the different air traffic links. They agreed on the need to encourage the players in this sector to develop regional cooperation in the context of strengthening ATS / MET / Pilots coordination. This will ensure better air navigation safety in the area, particularly in the management of volcanic ash clouds and associated SIGMET information.

At the end of the work, a contingency plan was developed to effectively manage the occurrence of unforeseen events. The aim is to encourage meteorological services and volcanological observatories to strengthen their collaboration. This is done through the dissemination of information on the activities of volcanoes. Secondly, weather agents and air traffic controllers must facilitate the transmission and operation of regular and special aircraft observations. This regulatory framework will foster good collaboration to better prevent disasters.

This is the second time that Cameroon has hosted this type of seminar, after that held in Douala in September 2001. In addition to its tourist assets, it has Mount Cameroon, which is one of the three active volcanoes in the ICAO WACAF region hence its choice to shelter these foundations.