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Air Transport

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what preliminary assessment has been made of the risks of birds colliding with aircraft at the Midlands New Site proposed in "The Future of Air Transport in the UK Midlands", with particular reference to the gull roost at Draycote Water; [108886](2) what research has been commissioned to assess the risks of birds colliding with aircraft at the Midlands New Site proposed in "The Future of Air Transport in the UK Midlands"; and what plans he has to commission further research. [108887]

In the background document "Midlands New Site: Option Appraisal Report, Volume One: Main Report" we identified the issue of birdstrike. We are considering this issue further through the analysis of the consultation responses and we will decide what further work, if any, is required in the light of these responses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria were used to determine which potential airport development sites proposed in "The Future of Air Transport in the UK" were considered to have a level of risk of bird strike high enough to necessitate further research; and what plans he has to commission further research. [108888]

As a result of the large number of birds affected and their immediate location on, and immediately proximate to, the potential airport site at Cliffe, a preliminary assessment was carried out to assess the risk of birdstrike. The Department accepted the report's conclusion that further research would be needed to assess more fully both the risk and the most appropriate mitigating measures at this site. This further research was published on 7 April 2003.Existing civil licensed airports are required to have an approved bird management programme in place and this is inspected annually in safety audits undertaken by the CAA Safety Regulation Group. The CAA is actively engaged in the consultation process.We are considering the birdstrike issue through the analysis of the consultation responses and we will decide what further work, if any, is required in the light of these responses.