20/05/2010

The Cope Calls For EU Ash Action

Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher has called for the solidarity within the EU over the ash crisis which continues to cause delays and cancellations amongst Europes airports.

Speaking during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last night, Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP called on the EU act immediately and to adopt a strong common policy to tackle the fall out from the volcanic ash cloud and to plan for future disruption.

The comments come as Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary called for an end to the VAAC Volcano Concentration Charts, which have over recent weeks used computer generated models to chart the movement of the clouds from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökul.

Mr O'Leary claimed it was "ridiculous" that hundreds of flights were cancelled because of the latest volcanic ash disruptions adding that the system used to measure the risk from the cloud is faulty and insisted the US model should be adopted.

He added that the latest closures removed the last "shred of credibility" of the computer images created by VACC Volcano Concentration Charts.

Meanwhile today, Mr Gallagher called for "one common and coherent policy" across the European Union instead of "numerous" bilateral agreements to better serve airlines and passengers.

"I strongly support efforts to fast-track the introduction of the Single European Sky concept. The Declaration of Madrid adopted in February by the Spanish Presidency, established a roadmap to put in place this policy," he said.

The Cope also raised the issue of small regional airports and urged for the establishment of a common policy across EU airspace.

"As Ireland does not have a land connection to mainland Europe, Irish air passengers have faced extreme difficulties, even more than any other EU Member State," the Cope said.

(DW/BMcC)

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