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Towards a more resilient aviation system in Europe

14 December 2016 - Aviation is one of the most critical infrastructures of our times. Even comparably short interruptions in commercial aircraft operations can cause economic damages in the billion-dollar range. Natural or manmade airborne hazards such as volcanic ash clouds and nuclear releases may crucially effect the operations of the worldwide aviation system. The Eyjafjallajökull eruptions in Iceland 2010 showed the vulnerability of such a complex system, with thousands of passengers stranded and stakeholders as well as decision makers unprepared to cope with such an event.

Safe flight operations, air traffic management and air traffic control are a shared responsibility of EUROCONTROL, national authorities, airlines and pilots. Despite experiences as in 2010 there is still a gap between available data and information and the stakeholders’ needs for high quality data in order to make consistent decisions.

Eunadics Aviation

With the EUNADICS-AV (“European Natural Disaster Coordination and Information System for Aviation”) Project, the Consortium envisions to close this gap. Coordinated by the Austrian National Weather Service ZAMG, EUNADICS-AV brings together national weather services, measurement data specialists, modelers, aviation experts and flight plan managers from 12 countries in order to take advantage of existing infrastructure and knowledge but also to gather all respective requirements considering crisis management for airborne hazards.

In detail EUNADICS-AV focuses on atmospheric hazardous contaminants resulting from:

  • volcanic eruptions
  • sandstorms
  • forest fires
  • nuclear accidents/incidents

The aim of EUNADICS-AV is the development and deployment of a data platform that provides all necessary information to decision makers in real time in case of an airborne hazard. By this means, all relevant stakeholders are able to base their decisions on harmonized data, consistent model analysis and data assimilation outputs, which consequently will lead to a better crisis management. In addition EUNADICS-AV will test the developed system in computer based scenarios as well as in real test cases in order to provide optimal solutions.

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) will contribute to EUNADICS-AV by developing a near-real-time monitoring and alerting system for airborne hazards, based on the existing Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS) concept. “The EUNADICS-AV system will allow unprecedented monitoring of hazardous plumes, not only for volcanic ash but also other natural risks, by combining complementary satellite and ground-based measurements over Europesays Dr. Nicolas Theys, EUNADICS-AV PI at BIRA-IASB.

EUNADICS-AV started in October 2016 and has a duration of three years. The project receives a funding of 7.5 million EURO within the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation (H2020) under GRANT AGREEMENT NUMBER 723986


Source: EUNADICS-AV


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