The EGU has been in active discussion since 16 April 2010 evaluating consequences for people travelling to the EGU General Assembly following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. We estimate that a large percentage of attendees either already travel overland to the conference, or could travel overland from central ‘hubs’ should the need arise. Other than several last-minute additions to the programme on the recent geophysical events, EGU2010 is scheduled to proceed as normal; already 8,100 people have pre-registered, with many more expected. We hope you will join us!
Current aviation estimates are that once the ash-plume dissipates, it will take 7-10 days for air travel to return back to normal. Therefore, we recommend that you consider now potential back-ups (train, ferry, coach, car) in case planes are not operating as planned; before booking any alternative arrangements, check rules on refundability. To aid you in this, we have created an overland travel to Vienna suggestions site for different regions of Europe. We ask that those EGU attendees who have local knowledge for regions, to help populate it for the different regions.
For those of you who are interested in car-pooling, the e-carpool.eu site is well set up, in multiple languages. A bit more information is given here.
If you come from overseas, it is possible you might be diverted to another destination that is ash-free (e.g. Spain). Should this occur, overland travel is possible; distances between almost any hub and Vienna are rarely over 1000 km and easily doable by ground transportation.
As geoscientists concerned about our environment, we should use this opportunity to reduce the EGU carbon footprint by choosing ground transportation! By the time of the EGU, we expect the air-traffic to be back to close to normal, but we will actively continue to provide online information and to help everyone reach Vienna safely and in time.
By Bruce D. Malamud (King’s College London)
Programme Chair, EGU 2010 General Assembly