Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Exeter Airport’s response fails to consider the complete picture

It now transpires that the response Exeter Airport gave after meeting with Aggregate Industries and SLR "to discuss the issues of a potential increased bird strike risk from quarrying operations and how best, if possible, to mitigate against the risk", was based only upon the ephemeral pond indicated on SLR's concept plans, and not on the more extensive - and permanent - ponding and wetlands outlined in SLR's Hydrological Position Statement, July 2013, i.e.
The provision of water storage along the [eastern] boundaries of the site, to mitigate flooding and maintain groundwater flow, also offers the opportunity to create a priority wetland habitat and therefore enhance the ecology of the area.
In the meantime, and for any scheme that Exeter Airport might approve, it remains unclear who would assume, or would want to assume, responsibility for the management of birds and any bird strikes resulting from these ponds and wetlands once AI has gone - for the lifetime of the airport.

Exactly five years ago today, a plane taking off from New York lost both engines through birdstrike and ditched in the Hudson River, fortunately with no loss of life. The issue of birds is important.