The Met Office London VAAC aids flight safety for the north-east Atlantic routes by providing reports and forecasts for the movement of volcanic ash plumes within our area of responsibility covering the UK, Iceland and the north-eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Met Office London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) provides forecast guidance up to 24 hours ahead to support decision-making. This guidance is provided to the Civil Aviation Authority as the lead agency, NATS, airports and airline operators in order to support their decisions on whether aircraft can fly safely.
The Met Office London VAAC uses a range of technologies and expertise to predict the movement of volcanic ash. The Met Office dispersion model forecast are routinely validated, verified against all available observations, such as from satellite, Radar, Lidar and aircraft, and our advice is then adjusted accordingly.
Toulouse VAAC provides a back up facility for the London VAAC and vice versa.
Following the eruption of the Eyjafyallajokull volcano in April and May of 2010, the Met Office is involved in a number of projects and activities to improve the detection of volcanic ash and the forecasting of its movement.