Etna, volcanic ash monitoring
Volcanic ash can cause extreme danger to aircraft, abrasion to the fuselage and engine failure.
The impact on the ashes of Etna on aviation has had a great importance in recent years due to the frequent episodes of explosive volcano and the increase in traffic at the airports of Catania-Fontanarossa, Sigonella and Reggio Calabria.
The Civil Protection Department - the National Authority for Civil Aviation, ENAC, the National Assistance Flight Board-ENAV, the Italian Air Force and INGV -National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology- has developed procedures looking to provide daily maps of areas potentially affected by the scattering of ashes, and to allow, in case of eruption, the immediate warning of air traffic controllers. On the basis of these procedures on a daily basis, in coordination with the Department:
- Air Force Regional Prevention and Environment Agency-ARPA Sim, Hydrometeorological Service of Emilia Romagna communicate INGV Catania prediction of wind fields for the next 48 hours;
- INGV inserts the data into mathematical models of forecasting simulation taking into account the characteristics of a typical column of ash Etna: height, mass and volume erupted, temperature, particle size, etc.., forecasting and process maps;
The Department, on receiving the forecast maps, the overlaps in the fields of flight and validation, making it available to the agencies responsible for air traffic management and directors of airports.