Volcanic ash meeting in Magadan
The 13th meeting of the Volcanic Ash Exercises Steering Group for the (far) Eastern Part of the EUR Region (EUR (EAST) VOLCEX/SG/13) was held in Magadan last week.
The objective of such meetings is to ensure coordination between ANSPs, meteorological offices, volcano observatories, volcanic ash advisory centres and airlines, information exchange as well as development of unified measures in order to prevent aircraft from encountering an ash cloud.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the ICAO EUR/NAT office, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Rosaviatsiya, FSUE “State ATM Corporation”, FSBI Aviamettelecom of ROSHYDROMET, EVA Airways (Taiwan), Federal Aviation Administration (USA), Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (Japan) and VAAC Tokyo.
During the period of volcanic activity in the Far Eastern region ash clouds jeopardize the safety on a majority of airways over Kamchatka and the Pacific Ocean to the east of the peninsula and over the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Transit flights from/to USA, Canada to Southeast Asia and Japan are diverted to safe and economically beneficial airspace areas over the territory of Magadan region and Chukotka. Some of them are rerouted airborne based on the most appropriate and safe options as agreed with the ATS unit.
The aim of Magadan meeting was to discuss and sum up the results of the previous exercises dedicated to volcanic ash in the Far Eastern Part of the EUR Region (VOLKAM/18), agree on the schedule for future exercises and their scenarios. The meeting addressed the issues of information exchange and observations status, coordination between adjacent ATC centres on volcanic ash.
The participants of the VOLCEX/SG/13 meeting visited Flight Control Centre of the “North East Air Navigation” Branch of the State ATM Corporation.
The guests could get acquainted with the technical capabilities and practical application of the Automated ATC System (ALPHA Terminal АТC System). Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure (DARP-like) in case of any hazards for aircraft (including volcanic ash clouds) using Automatic dependent surveillance (ADS) and Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) was demonstrated. The system of voiceless communication (in pilot operation) between Magadan ACC and Anchorage ACC via AIDC was also demonstrated. This function facilitates interaction between two centres and provides for further capacity enhancement of Magadan ACC sectors.