Land’s End Lake Spat Underlines Offsite Bird Risks

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Controversy surrounds a lake in Cornwall, UK which was built without proper permissions, The Telegraph reported recently. One of the staunchest opponents is nearby Land’s End Airport.

The owner of the land has applied for permission retrospectively, making it an open question as to whether the lake will stay or go. It certainly has no shortage of opponents, with a public petition for its removal attracting thousands of signatures. While public opposition is often concerned with the preservation of the landscape, which is within a World Heritage Site, the airport’s concerns are with safety.

Water bodies are a powerful attractant for wildlife, and this one is only about a kilometre from Land’s End Airport. This is easily close enough for its presence to increase bird activity for the airport, and therefore increase the risk of a bird strike.

“The potential for the site to attract or support hazardous birds will directly impact on the likely presence of these species in and through critical airspace,” Chris Pearson, Land’s End Airport Manager, was quoted as saying in the Telegraph. With the new water body attracting a range of species including large Canada geese, the result of a strike, Pearson said, “would potentially be catastrophic,” and the damage caused by a goose hitting a small aircraft would be “possibly terminal”.

Airports are required to minimise such risks for aircraft, and this includes the risk presented by offsite attractants. Indeed, airports must monitor wildlife activity at key sites up to 13km from their own boundaries, to ensure that they understand the level of risk at all times. The level of concern raised by the new lake shows just how important this is, and just how serious the consequences could be for an airport that failed to keep on top of these hazards.

Scarecrow O.A.R. software is specifically designed for the monitoring, reporting and analysis of off-aerodrome wildlife activity. It’s part of our whole suite of airside bird management products including our flagship B.I.R.D Tab. B.I.R.D Tab provides the same level of insight for bird activity within the airport, along with active dispersal through our market-leading bio-acoustic technology, though a version for just reporting is also available.

To find out more about Scarecrow and our superb products and systems, all you have to do is get in touch. Call 01825 766 363 or write to the team via our Contact page.