Training is on despite volcanic ash no-fly zone

planes grounded at stansted.jpgWhen I first heard that so many people had signed up for the ICIS Training seminars in London in April that we would have to run two parallel courses, I thought this was just another sign of economic recovery. Coming on top of other incontrovertible signs like the sold-out Olefins Conference, our bumper Amsterdam training seminars and the higher turnout for NPRA, it showed that petchem companies were not only travelling to do business but also investing in training their new staff.


Our training team went into overdrive, to cope with the record number of delegates, bringing in John R from Singapore and Malini from India, who usually run our Asian training seminars, and persuading me to do my pricing papers twice a day before rushing off to Floggers, inconveniently timed for the same day as our Part 2 course.


As London basks in the fifth day of perfect summer, with clear blue skies, blazing sunshine, flowers everywhere, bees buzzing like crazy in the garden, BBC news reports that the European no-fly zone created by the volcanic ash cloud is going to last through the week ahead. The skies of west London are peaceful and unsullied by vapour trails or planes for the first time in a lifetime.


Colleagues who are stranded abroad have sent word that they have found ways to get back, but a week later than scheduled. As I sit in my garden enjoying the heat wave, I’m wondering whether our Asian trainers or our European delegates – from Switzerland, France, Germany and Greece – will make it for the training seminars. If not, well we’ve got the London training team, and the UK-based delegates, and the hotel conference rooms are booked, so we can go ahead, even if it is with a more select group. The show must go on.


photo: planes grounded at Stansted – Rex


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