Aer Lingus has said a new ash cloud detection and forecasting system will reduce the disruption to aviation in the event of a volcanic eruption in Europe.

The new technology, which was being demonstrated at the company's headquarters today, was developed following the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

It uses satellites and forecast models to detect ash clouds and forecast their movements.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has invested €2.1m in the project, which is led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

It also involves NUI Galway and the Irish Aviation Authority's Volcanic ash detection and forecasting Initiative.

The funding was secured with the aid of Enterprise Ireland, which is the coordinating body for ESA in Ireland.

The 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption resulted in more than 100,000 flights being cancelled and affected 10 million passenger journeys during the first week of the eruption alone.