Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Birdstrike - it's a serious matter

We can all smile at this picture, but the subject of birdstrike is a serious one, and one the public is increasingly aware of following the dramatic events in 2009 when US Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River. However, it's not just public awareness that has increased. A report from Nicholls & Bell claims that "bird strike risk per movement to UK aviation is increasing as a proportion of total aviation risk, and possibly also in absolute terms". The Aviation Herald records airline incidents across the world as they are reported - here is their list for "bird strike".

Aggregate Industries, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be taking this matter seriously. Why, otherwise, would it contemplate quarrying below the water table at Straitgate Farm, beneath an international flight path? Such a plan may help make its sums stack up, but does nothing to avoid leaving a body of water after it's gone, and does nothing for the flight safety of planes landing nearby at Exeter Airport.

For anyone who missed the photograph of gulls at AI's Blackhill Quarry, here's another photograph of gulls, this time at Hillhead near Uffculme - again on a body of water left after quarrying. Would Exeter Airport want this under its flight path? In perpetuity?