HC Deb 15 July 2003 vol 409 cc166-7W
Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessments of the risk of bird strikes at London Heathrow airport his Department has made in the last five years; [126018]

(2) how many incidents of bird strike have been reported at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Stansted in the last five years; [126023]

(3) what measures his Department undertakes to assess the potential risk of bird strike at UK airports. [126024]

Mr. McNulty

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for the licensing of civil aerodromes in the UK. Licensed aerodromes are required to take all reasonable steps to secure that the aerodrome and its immediately surrounding airspace are safe at all times for use by aircraft. As a licensing condition, aerodrome operators are also specifically required to have in place procedures for the control of bird hazards. The CAA maintains an oversight of the effectiveness of the bird hazard control activities at all UK licensed aerodromes and comments on this activity in the individual aerodrome's annual audit report.

Although the Department for Transport has not conducted separate aerodromes bird strike risk assessments, it has organised, and currently chairs, a working group of representatives from relevant local authorities, private land owners, the CAA and Heathrow Airport Ltd. (HAL) to consider ways of expediting effective management of the bird population and habitat around Heathrow. This builds on HAL's on-going work with the Central Science Laboratory's Bird Strike Avoidance Team to develop and implement appropriate bird strike mitigation measures. It is anticipated that the results of the group's work will, in due course, be disseminated to other aerodromes around the country.

The following table sets out the number of reported bird strikes at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted over the last five years.

Heathrow Gatwick Stansted
1998 36 32 14
1999 56 39 16
2000 46 39 21
2001 59 40 28
2002 71 51 30

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