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VOLCEX22 Planning Meeting

On 2-3 February, the Main ATM Centre took part in the web-based ICAO EUR/NAT VOLCEX21 international volcanic ash exercise debrief meeting and VOLCEX22 planning meeting. The video conference was also attended by representatives of EUROCONTROL, Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAACs), Meteorological watch offices (MWOs), aeronautical information services (AIS), air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines.

The purpose of the exercise was to practice operational coordination between VAACs, MWOs, AIS, ANSPs and airlines in case of airspace contamination with volcanic ash.

 The VOLCEX21 exercise held on 16 November 2021 simulated the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, resulting in a volcanic ash plume spreading to the north-east and south-east up to FL550, which led to a large-scale contamination of the airspace of 45 flight information regions of Europe and Russia with medium and low ash concentration levels. The exercise practiced operational coordination between VAACs, MWOs, AIS, ANSPs and airlines, and tested the delivery of volcaniс ash information (VONA, VAA, VAG, SIGMET), publication of NOTAM and filing of volcanic ash observation aircraft reports (AIREP), including via EUROCONTROL software EVITA.

 The exercise participants jointly prepared proposals for further improvement of coordination and exercise planning procedures.

 The next VOLCEX22 exercise will take place in October 2022. The exercise will be simulating an eruption of La Palma volcano in Spain (Canary Islands).

 Deputy Director General, Head of Main ATM Centre Alexey Buevich has been appointed VOLCEX22 coordinator on behalf of the Russian Federation.