“VOLCAZO 21.01“ national exercise is taking place today, April 21st (between 09:00 UTC and 15:00 UTC).
The scenario involves a simulation of an eruption of volcanic ash from the Furnas Volcano, located on the island of São Miguel, in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, originating a plume with 17 km of altitude that will affect the Oceanic FIR of Santa Maria, the Lisbon FIR and the Madrid FIR.
The participants in this simulacrum are the Azorean Seismovolcanic Surveillance and Information Center (CIVISA), the Toulouse Volcanic Ash Warning Center (VAAC), from NAV Portugal EPE, , through the Santa Maria Ocean Control Center, which will be responsible for coordinating of the year, the Lisbon Control Center and NOTAM Centers for Aeronautical Information Services (AIS), and the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA, IP), as a provider of meteorological services in the national airspace.
The close coordination of the various entities involved is essential for an adequate response to such disasters.
In order to maintain the regularity, effectiveness and safety of aviation and the ability of coordinated response of the various organizations involved, simulations of volcanic eruptions with the emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere are carried out regularly at national level, these simulations, called VOLCAZO, it consists of scenarios involving volcanic eruptions originating in the Azores archipelago, resulting from a seismic activity.
Volcanic ash clouds are a significant danger to aviation, affecting air circulation and airport operations.
Providing information and recommendations associated with airspace operations and the use of an aerodrome, contaminated with volcanic ash, constitutes an important role for Vulcanological Observatories, Volcanic Ash Warning Centers (VAACs), Air Control Centers, airlines and Meteorological Observation Centers for Aeronautics.