Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Pilot's-eye view

Amazingly, Aggregate Industries hasn’t yet ruled out Phase 2 - “wet working” below the water table - at Straitgate. This would involve another 6 years beyond the 4-5 already indicated; risking drinking water supplies and, based on AI's track record, another 6 years of wanting to haul material along the B3180.

AI’s aerial photograph of Straitgate Farm is, ironically, exactly the view that pilots and passengers have as they fly into Exeter Airport from the east. It should therefore be immediately obvious to anyone why the issue of water, habitat changes and increased bird numbers are so important in any quarry application:
Wetland creation is one of the most problematic development types in terms of birdstrike prevention at aerodromes.
Because if a population of seagulls, like those at AI's Blackhill and Hillhead Quarries for example, were to subsequently become an aviation hazard directly under a flight path, it's not always a straightforward issue to fix; in Lancashire for example, a controversial cull of seagulls to lower the risk of bird strike to aircraft has been blocked by the Court of Appeal.