NATS in BBC volcano documentary

31 August 2012

NATS took part in a BBC documentary screened last night about the Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010.

Jonathan Astill, NATS’ General Manager Area Control, was interviewed by Kate Humble for the Iceland Erupts programme screened on BBC2.

One aspect that was explored in the programme was the reason the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull brought air traffic in the UK and Europe to a standstill.

The interview, at Heathrow’s Air Traffic Controltower, investigated whether the eruption was a one off, the possibilitiesof another eruption and how the UK can prepare should it happen again.

Jonathan described the work that was required when flights in UK airspace were suddenly grounded and the extraordinary event that he thought would never end.

Jonathan said: “Being interviewed for the programme was good fun. It was a great opportunity to showcase NATS and to tell the real story about our involvement in what was truly an unprecedented event.”

A series called ‘Volcano Live’, co-hosted by Kate Humble, shown earlier this summer, tracked the world’s volcanic activity and provided explanations of why volcanos erupt.

The programme also showed footage from live volcanoes around the world.  The BBC film crew returned to Iceland to make this more in-depth programme about one of the most volcanically active countries on earth.

If similar eruption happens again, new ICAO rules that are now in place mean that airlines would need to provide a safety case before they could fly through different densities of ash.


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