Tories launch eight point plan to address flight crisis
- Charter ships to bring people home who are stranded in Europe, including troops stranded in Cyprus and work to ensure that border controls do not prevent a cross-Channel Dunkirk style rescue effort by boat owners;
- Work with the CAA, the airlines and their insurers on producing the data on engine contamination needed for a full and objective assessment of the risks posed by volcanic ash, including consideration of whether test flights can safely be operated (following on from the precedent set by Lufthansa/KLM);
- Work with the Met Office to ensure a high priority is given to accurate assessment of the extent and location of the ash cloud;
- Provide assistance in bringing people home by deploying the royal navy;
- Allow the use of piston engine planes (where they have a licence to operate commercially and carry passengers) in efforts to get people home from European destinations;
- Assist the airports and airlines in keeping passengers informed on the situation and any important developments;
- Urge ferry and rail operators to retain their normal pricing structures during the crisis and not to introduce sudden and excessive price increases.
- Issue an immediate and comprehensive statement on the steps the Government is taking to deal with the crisis, help people get home and get people flying again.
On his blog John Redwood has listed other possible actions.