Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer

Today, I looked up and saw 4 things like the image above. Tonight, I hear on BBC news that the CAA has reopened all British airports with immediate effect.

The reason? British Airways simply took off from various locations - some about 12 hours flight away - and contacted the inland ATCs saying something like, "Here we come, and we have just about enough fuel to land in Heathrow. What are you going to do about it?"

Now the only way they could have landed before the CAA relaxed the ban on our airspace, was in a case of emergency. A fully laden 747 coming into London with enough fuel to make about 12 circuits, if refused permission to land in London, constitutes an emergency. They were going to land - no matter what.

So the CAA get onto the media and say that they have reviewed the situation, and - despite the fact that the volcano has increased output and the wind direction is the same - it is going to allow traffic into the airspace. Tomorrow, they will allow take-offs too, I dare say.

I smell a bit of BRINKMANSHIP going on here.

And now it's going to be a few months of justification on behalf of the CAA, and I hope the birds stay in the sky, even if one coming down will save their sorry faces.

Meanwhile, the volcano with the unpronounceable name just keeps on spewing out dust!


  1. It's a pity that the French authorities couldn't have grounded their bloody fighter jets. They still think WW2's going on..... Over my village!

  2. They announced this morning that the volcano has decreased activity by 80% - I think this information comes from the Icelandic authorities, who all owed us about 3 million quid each BEFORE they tried to ruin the rest of Europe's aviation industry. Labour is blaming the volcano on the Conservatives this morning too.