Increasing Resilience through Interaction: Stakeholder Workshop on Aviation and Volcanic Ash

Uta Reichardt, Gudmundur F. Ulfarsson, Gudrun Pétursdóttir


The Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in 2010 illustrated the threat that Icelandic volcanoes can pose to global air transportation and connected economy. It highlighted the necessity for crisis management and contingency planning that crosses borders. This research obtained insights into how the European aviation volcanic risk management has progressed since 2010. It developed escalating volcanic scenarios to investigate the robustness of the aviation sector and to identify improved mitigation measures.
This paper presents a multi-level methodology to build a lasting relationship with, and between, stakeholders and to obtain relevant data. The first step consisted of establishing a face-to-face interaction with stakeholder representatives on an individual basis. Subsequently the group was invited to a one-day participatory stakeholder workshop where extreme volcanic events and their effects on aviation were investigated using scenario narratives.
The workshop’s set-up proved successful in enabling discussions and obtaining information. The stakeholders’ positive response to the invitation, as well as their feedback after the workshop, illustrate their interest in this type of workshop. The feedback showed that the stakeholders appreciated the opportunity to meet and specifically to discuss aviation contingency issues. The workshop raised awareness and facilitated information flow between the stakeholders.
The paper describes this case and provides generalized guidance on how to build a fruitful interaction between interviewees in a study, sheds light on the resulting impact on the results, and presents opportunities to create value beyond the study.


risk management, aviation, volcanic eruption, participatory workshop

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