Air Transport Association of America VP Operations and Safety, Tom Hendricks, at the Atlantic Conference on Eyjafjallajökull and Aviation, stated (15-Sep-2010) the disruption to traffic (passenger and cargo), operational control and decision-making, commercial interests, planned maintenance activities, crew training events and to passengers’ travel plans as a result of the volcanic ash disruption took a "deep toll on airline franchises and individuals across the globe". [more]
ATA: "Large US international airlines have a strong history of safely operating in similar environments around the globe. Volcanic eruptions are not unusual. At times, near‐daily events occur in Alaska, the Caribbean, Latin America or Asia that cause potential disruptions to flight operations. The US model treats volcanic activity as major weather events and the burden of managing the risk falls to individual operators and their regulators. The large international US airline model of sophisticated systems of operational control backed by the requirement for worldwide rapid and reliable communication between airline operations centers and the cockpit facilitates a collaborative decision-making philosophy. Further, shared operational control between captains and licensed dispatchers helps to focus both parties on all aspects of managing risk on a network and individual flight basis," Tom Hendricks, VP Operations and Safety. Source: Company Statement, 15-Sep-2010.