Airline To Test Ash Cloud Detector

LONDON (May 9, 2013)—The budget airline easyJet PLC has acquired a ton of ash from Icelandic volcanoes for use in an experiment to test ash detection technology.

The U.K.-based carrier says the experiment is intended to determine whether the technology could to minimize the impact of such events as the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland.

The eruption crippled air travel and millions of passengers were left stranded for days because the ash cloud was considered too dangerous to fly through.

EasyJet said Thursday the ash it collected will be dispersed by an Airbus plane into the atmosphere to create an artificial ash cloud.

A second Airbus fitted with the detection technology will attempt to detect and avoid the cloud at more than 30,000 feet.

EasyJet said the experiment will be conducted in August.


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