Volcano Response Discussion As Irish Air Space Closes

Discussions are taking place today between EU transport chiefs about how to deal with the volcanic ash crisis as well as how to cope with possible future volcanic eruptions.

The news that all Irish and some Scottish airports were being forced to close following new eruptions in Iceland hit just as the meeting began.

The preventative measures discussed are focussing on two key points: firstly, how to help passengers and the transport industry in the short term, and secondly what structural changes can be undertaken to ensure a crisis such as this does not occur again.

Siim Kallas, the European Commission vice president who is in charge of transport, stated: "The question is not if but when this kind of crisis will happen again.

"Volcano eruptions and other crisis events do not respect any rules, so we need to be more flexible and agile in our response.

"We need co-ordinated European action to help millions of passengers and an industry which has been hard hit by this unprecedented crisis."

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