Thursday, 11 June 2015

Who would be in charge of the birdstrike risk?

A Wildlife Habitat Management Plan has been commissioned by SLR, Aggregate Industries' consultants, for the application to quarry Straitgate Farm and to 'answer' the birdstrike question for planes flying 195m above the site on their approach to Exeter Airport. But according to a birdstrike expert:
[These plans] are not a means by which otherwise unacceptably hazardous developments can be transformed into acceptable ones... Wetland creation is one of the most problematic development types in terms of birdstrike prevention at aerodromes. Wherever possible developers should seek to keep proposals as far from aerodromes as possible and outside the 13km safeguarded zone of major civil and all military aerodromes.
So who would be responsible for implementing the Wildlife Habitat Management Plan at Straitgate?
Aggregate Industries will be responsible for the implementation of all safeguarding within the site boundaries, monitoring bird numbers and activities and ensuring Exeter Airport is informed if any significant changes to ground and habitat occur and reviewing the performance of the plan... Avian Safe will also be responsible for all lethal control...
But here's a photo of AI’s Blackhill Quarry - also within Exeter Airport's 13km safeguarding zone. Gulls are classed as high risk. How is AI managing this risk - at 'Seagull Pond'? Would Straitgate be different?

AI doesn’t illustrate ponding on its plans for Straitgate any more. What it says now is that an "attenuation feature" would result in "seasonally wet grassland". CAA Advice Note 3 says "a wet meadow would attract feeding ducks and nesting waders, and should be avoided".