Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Aerodrome Safeguarding

Exeter Airport has revised its website. It says "The purpose of Aerodrome Safeguarding is to":
- take the measures necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft, - and thereby the passengers and crews aboard them, - while taking-off or landing, - or while flying in the vicinity of an aerodrome - by controlling potentially hazardous development and activity around it.
There are three main types of aerodrome safeguarding;

1. physical safeguarding which protects a set of flight safety surfaces up to a 30km radius around the airfield, 2. technical safeguarding which protects aircraft navigational equipment from any interference or disruption, and 3. wildlife management which prevents any development areas from creating an environment attractive to birds.
Aircraft are vulnerable to bird strikes. 80% of bird strikes occur on or close to aerodromes, therefore highlighting the necessity for wildlife management on and within the proximity of an airfield. Exeter Airport is responsible for monitoring bird activity within a 13km radius of the aerodrome. This is to mitigate the bird strike risk to aircraft and be aware of what species we have in the local area. The objective of the safeguarding process is to prevent any increase in, and where possible reduce the bird strike risk at the aerodrome.
According to Aggregate Industries' consultants, this is where Straitgate Farm sits in relation to planes landing at Exeter Airport, 6 km away:

So let's hope that Straitgate doesn't turn out like AI's nearby Venn Ottery Quarry then:

These photos of so-called "seasonal waterbodies" are from DCC's Venn Ottery Quarry Monitoring Report; the date of the officer's visit was 19 August 2016. The officer reports a "Significant amount of run off was present in the waterbodies at the time of the visit", which is surprising given that last summer's rainfall in this area was well below average - according to the Met Office.

Here's the newly revised Safeguarding Advice Note 3.

And here's who would be in charge of controlling the birdstrike risk caused by any development at Straitgate; the same person who was responsible for nearby Blackhill Quarry - photo below - where one of the water bodies has been named Seagull Pond.

If you're at all worried about AI's plans, why not email safeguarding@exeter-airport.co.uk.