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GCAA working group will track ash cloud crisis

Ash cloud is unlikely to enter UAE airspace says aviation authority.
GCAA deputy director general Omar bin Ghalib
GCAA deputy director general Omar bin Ghalib

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The GCAA has held an emergency meeting with UAE airlines to assess the threat posed to the region from the volcanic ash cloud that has closed a large portion of Europe’s airspace.

The meeting was chaired by GCAA deputy director general Omar Bin Ghalib and resulted in attendees agreeing to form a working group to review the situation and take remedial action in the interest of aviation safety.

The working group will be headed by GCAA director of aviation safety Ismaeil Al Balooshi who will liaise with the authorities in Europe and the US, as well as aircraft manufacturers.

The working group will consist of experts from the GCAA in areas of airworthiness, flight operations and air navigation services, metrological office and representatives from the airlines.

The working group will develop guidelines for UAE airlines for operations in the affected areas by providing technical support for aircraft exposed to volcanic ash.

In addition, the working group will monitor the movement of the ash cloud in case it reaches UAE airspace and will provide timely guidelines for UAE airlines.

Should the ash cloud enter the region the working group will be responsible for the opening and closing of the UAE airspace and provide guidance for maintenance and operations of the UAE aircraft and other aircraft entering affected areas.

“We stress that it is highly unlikely that the ash cloud will reach UAE airspace” said Omar Bin Ghaleb “but these plans are being drawn up as contingency measures.”

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