Fight or flight

I find it quite astonishing and totally irresponsible of the airline bosses to have pressurised the Civil Aviation Authority into the lifting of the UK flight ban (your report, 21 April).

This is another perfect example of capital interests of commercial business coming before sense and safety.

A rule introduced after decades of testing has been ignored after less than a week due to the need to prevent further loss of revenue to the air industry.

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The Met Office has stated that current advice from the International Civil Aviation Organisation was "based on engine and airframe manufacturers stating a zero tolerance to ash ingestion. This means that aircraft should not be exposed to any volcanic ash."

Dr Grant Allen from the Centre of Atmospheric Science at The University of Manchester said: "The concentrations of ash which are dangerous to jet engines is simply unknown. No-one knows for sure what density of ash plume can bring a plane down."

Yet the government's chief scientific adviser Professor John Beddington said today that "air travel was completely safe".

Who should we believe: a university doctor of science or a government adviser? In the words of Harry Hill, there's only one way to find out – FIGHT!


Barony Street