Closed airspace

I find this all really rather amusing (despite the fact that I\’m due to fly in 10 days).

The government tonight launched an unprecedented plan to bring home an estimated 200,000 people stranded abroad by the volcanic ash cloud – including possible deployment of the Royal Navy – as European airlines staged a series of successful test flights and urged governments to reassess flying restrictions.

In a move rarely seen during a general election, Gordon Brown recalled senior cabinet members from the campaign trail to tackle the aviation crisis. On the steps of Downing Street the business secretary, Lord Mandelson, flanked by the foreign secretary, David Miliband, transport secretary, Lord Adonis, cabinet minister Tessa Jowell and security minister Lord West, unveiled a plan to repatriate UK residents. Government sources said around 200,000 Britons were in temporary exile, according to unofficial airline estimates.

How politicians, especially these very statist politicians, just love being able to plan everything! We get to sit around a table! Talk! Tell people what to do! Be very important!

When in fact left to themselves people would generally get this sorted out. But more importantly, the problem itself seems to have been caused by the very central planning that they\’re so revelling in. That decision to close down all flights that is.

As the various tests have shown as airlines pop a plane up to see what happens, not much does.

It\’s the \”who smelt it dealt it\” principle at work again. Those at the centre planning how to get out of the \”crisis\” are those who in part caused the crisis by planning from the centre.

Update: As I say, people can and will sort this out themselves.

10 thoughts on “Closed airspace”

  1. I was thinking the same myself.

    It seems to me that the airline operators are the ones best placed to judge safety against inconvenience. They also have the greatest interest in making sure their planes don’t fall out of the sky.

    A – It’s their passengers that would die.
    B – It’s their reputation.
    C – It’s their plane.

    Brown says “Safety is THE priority”. If that were the case then we wouldn’t get on a plane, train or bus; volcanic ash or not.

    I say “Safety is A priority” along with getting to your father’s funeral or taking that round the world trip that you’ve been saving for.

    The volcanic ash is an act of god. The flight ban is an act of idiots.

  2. Are you sure the Government has closed down our airspace? I thought NATS issued an advisory, and all airlines followed it. And now they’re not: BA has done some test flights.

    You can chalk this up to the legal system and the elfen safety paranoia – or not (depending on whether it’s safe or not).

  3. When Notices Go Bad!

    Eurocontrol procedures (pdf press release) have closed airspace. According to them the rules require Air Navigation Service Providers like NATS to close airspace to civilian traffic if there is volcanic ash.

  4. Jon Snow made the same mistake as the Royal Navy did seventy years ago – they tried to use Dunkirk harbour – with much the same result.

    But just because the authorities have made the harbour to difficult to use, Mr Snow shouldn’t give up. Instead he should now follow the example of Admiral Ramsay and evacuate his people from the beaches.

    Let’s see what les Gendarmes say about that; especially if he takes a couple of film crews along to record all the fun.

  5. Besides, this volcanic ash is supposed to be up at 30,000 feet and the like. So what’s stopping people from flying lower? Admittedly jets work best at altitude, but smaller planes don’t.

    What’s to stop loads of British private flyers all going to Northern France to collect “friends” stuck there by the ban?

  6. You can tell this is all a pile of poo if you summarise the current logic:

    Volcano erupts

    Ash goes in the air

    Planes will crash

    Ban planes

    Volcano erupts some more

    More ash in the air

    Experts say situation is improving

    Unban planes

    Yeah, did you spot the poo?

  7. “Let’s see what les Gendarmes say about that; especially if he takes a couple of film crews along to record all the fun.”

    Some black and white photos, with long streams of travellers wading out to boats, holding their luggage above their heads. Classic.

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