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easyJet airline plans to fit its planes with ash detectors

Laura June

UK budget airliner easyJet unveiled a plan last week to install ash detectors on its fleet of planes. The radar devices will be fitted to the tail fin, and should be able to detect ash clouds within 60 miles and will work like other weather-detection systems already in use to pick up on thunderstorms in advance. The new ash cloud system is being dubbed the Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector, A/K/A AVOID, and it'll provide both pilots and air traffic control to see an ash cloud at altitudes between 5,000 feet and 50,000 feet, and easyJet's CEO Andy Harrison thinks it could have the power to "make large-scale ash disruption history." easyJet will have to have the devices approved by European regulators and widespread adoption across the airline to have much effect. easyJet is spending around $1.46 million to research and outfit its planes with the systems.

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