Volcanic ash cloud: President Barroso launches European Commission action to address economic consequences
Brussels. April 19, 2010. (eupr). The European Commission President Mr. José Manuel Barroso has decided on Sunday, April 18, 2010, to set up an ad-hoc group to assess the impact of the situation created by the volcanic ash cloud on the air travel industry and the economy in general. The President wishes to ensure that the EU has the right analysis to be able to respond appropriately, if needed, and that any measures taken across the EU to respond to economic consequences of this situation are properly coordinated.
President Barroso has asked Vice-President Kallas, responsible for Transport, to lead this work, assisted by Vice-President Almunia (Competition and State Aids) and Commissioner Rehn (Economic and Monetary Affairs).
He has also asked Vice-President Kallas to liaise closely with the Spanish Transport Council Presidency with a view to the appropriate contacts between the Member States and in particular the consideration of an extraordinary Transport Council meeting or video conference.
The Commission will continue to liaise with Eurocontrol and the competent national authorities on the development in the airspace and decisions on flight suspensions.
The restrictions of flights or permission to reopen the airspace is the competence of the national authorities.
President Barroso said: “The volcanic ash cloud has created an unprecedented situation. I have asked Vice-President Kallas to coordinate the Commission’s response and fully assess the impact of the situation created by volcanic ash cloud on the economy, and the air travel industry in particular. It is important that all measures to be considered are coordinated at the European level.”
Current information on the situation of the closure or reopening of the airspace in Europe are available on http://www.airportmission.wordpress.com. Airport mission is a free an non-commercial service for those people which got in need because of the volcanic ash cloud and for those people which need to travel by airplane.