A British Airways verification flight will help the airline figure out the best procedures for operating in accordance with the risk assessment methodology developed by ICAO since the last Icelandic eruption—and disruption—last year.
Says BA: "The flight will produce data that should help the understanding of the limitations of the models being used to forecast ash dispersal."
[Photo credit: A.Cooksey/airlineimages.co.uk via British Airways]
The BA Airbus A320 left Manchester this evening (U.K. time) and was set to fly toward the Newcastle area and then over Glasgow and Edinburgh before turning south to London Heathrow.
BA engineers will inspect the aircraft and its flight performance data overnight.
BA also offered a note on today's cancellations:
We regret the cancellation of today’s services between London and Scotland, and London and Newcastle. These cancellations were made entirely on the basis of the information given to us by the CAA and the Met Office.
We expect flights to all areas, including Scotland, to operate normally tomorrow (Wednesday May 25).
After ash disrupted airline operations last summer, many airlines conducted tests that generated inconclusive results. Many found no notable damage, as you can read in Bill Burchell's recent O&M article. I'll update this with BA's findings as soon as I hear more.