UK Airspace Open: Should The Government Have Done More?
UK airspace has been re-opened after nearly a week of chaos across Europe caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull on Iceland and the resultant ash cloud. But now questions are being asked about whether the UK government should have done more or – perversely – less.
Critics of the Government (notably Boris Johnson) argue that the decision to close UK airspace was taken with undue haste and too much emphasis on an impossible ‘zero risk’ approach to health and safety. Such things are a common trope on the right of the political spectrum that sees Health and Safety zealotry as part of a wider encroachment on human rights or freedoms.
In this case, we have to say that we’re probably on the side of the government. We’re talking about the lives of many tens of thousands of people who use flights every day. A single crash could have caused hundreds of deaths and it doesn’t take much imagination to guess how much opprobrium would have fallen on the government had they allowed the flight to go ahead.
We’re sure the decision making wasn’t perfect, but better that lessons are learnt in leisure afterwards than in the aftermath of a tragic loss of life.