VOLKAM19 Volcanic Ash Exercise, Kamchatka, Russian Federation - 18 to 19 April 2019

A volcanic ash exercise in Kamachatka, Russian Federation took place from 2200 UTC 18 April 2019 to 0200 UTC 19 April 2019. Two volcano eruptions were simulated with one ash cloud from a volcano named Opala that moved southeast impacting Northern Pacific Routes (NOPAC) and one ash cloud from a volcano named Ushkovsky that moved northwest impacting trans-east routes and some cross-polar routes. This scenario left a corridor of ash free airspace of several hundred kilometers width in south-central Kamchatka. This exercise allowed national supervisory authorities, service providers and airspace users to practice their response to volcanic eruptions.



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This was the second year of practicing two volcano eruptions simultaneously. This year the volcanic ash information (Volcanic Ash Advisories, SIGMETs, NOTAMs and special air-report on volcanic ash) was timely and in accordance to provisions as well as routed correctly through the AFTN network.



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Approximately 50 reroute requests by six airlines were received at Main Air Traffic Management Centre in Moscow and most were accepted. Those that were not originally accepted were adapted and sent to the airlines for final acceptance. A diversion to Magadan was also conducted by one airline in order to consider this as an alternate aerodrome in the future.


Recommendations will be developed at the follow-up VOLKAM19 Debrief Meeting that will take place in Paris on 20-21 May 2019.


More information on ICAO' s work on volcanic Ash - https://www.icao.int/safety/Pages/crisis-management.aspx

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