The past week’s events have demonstrated how a single wrong news could make the biggest companies in the world loose hundreds of millions of pounds. At the origin of this news: a government department. And why would it do that?
On Thursday April 14th, the UK Met Office, which is basically the government’s scientific body operated on a commercial basis, “advised [the UK Air Traffic Control Service] NATS that volcanic ash can damage a jet’s engines.” This alerted NATS which quickly analized a danger in continuing daily operations.
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The Volcanic Ash takes over the media
The media stepped in as NATS announced the alert: Ash “expected to delay flights“.
Immediately, the media started analyzing the consequences (see BBC article). Now, people are starting to fear. New questions have arose as different sectors of the economy. One of them: health. What if we get sick from these ashes? (see The Guardian article)
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For 4 days, almost all UK airports got closed. All facts given by The Met Office over the past days have been forcing all these companies to cancel their activities for a few more days.
Yesterday, my worried mom who lives further down south sent me a mail asking whether I was in any way bothered by the ashes. If only I could be, but not at all. While newspapers urged to stay indoors, I was working all day outside. The weather had never yet been so good this year in London, sky was clear blue and I could see no trace of ashes at my window.
And what happened ?
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Today, in my mail’s CNN Breaking News update, here is what I receive:
EU official: Test flights show no impact in European air space from volcanic ash that has disrupted air travel this week.
So what exactly happened there? Were the facts of The Met Office taken for granted and not entirely verified although so much was at stake? Were historic examples good enough to justify?
Shouldn’t government information be questioned at any point? And, who will be held responsible for all this?
I let you answer…