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Aerodrome Safeguarding

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Aerodrome Safeguarding

Aerodrome safeguarding ensures the safety of aircraft when in the vicinity of an aerodrome by controlling potentially hazardous development and activity around it.

What is Safeguarding?

There are three main types of aerodrome safeguarding; physical safeguarding which protects a set of flight safety surfaces up to a 30km radius around the airfield, technical safeguarding which protects aircraft navigational equipment from any interference or disruption, and wildlife management which prevents any development areas from creating an environment attractive to birds.

As outlined in the joint Town and County Planning (Safeguarded Aerodromes, Technical Sites and Military Explosive Storage Areas) direction 2002, the aerodrome safeguarding control measures are included in UK legislation as a fundamental part of planning procedures. Safeguarded maps placed with planning authorities include a 30km radius centered on the aerodrome to indicate the area within which, developments that could have a detrimental effect on aircraft operations require consultation with the aerodrome.

Areas of development interest within 15km of SIAL:

  • Tall structures
  • Cranes or other construction equipment (within 6km). 
  • Landscaping schemes that could encourage wildlife (within 13km)
  • Lighting and illuminated signage which could dazzle pilots or air traffic controllers
  • Use of Chinese lanterns or balloon releases
  • Firework displays
  • Developments using highly reflective materials such as glazed roofs or photovoltaic cells
  • Masts or antennas emitting signals which could interfere with airport navigation aids

Areas of development interest within 30km of SIAL:

  • Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

Similarly to cranes, wind turbines can pose a physical infringement on flight surfaces. However, in addition to this, they can also cause problems with aircraft navigation aids, air traffic control radars, and can cause turbulence. Southampton International Airport Limited (SIAL) is responsible for assessing any proposed wind turbine sites within 30km of the aerodrome, to ensure safety for aircraft is maintained. 

The Local Planning Authority (LPA) will forward any wind turbine applications within the aforementioned area to SIAL for assessment. SIAL’s Safeguarding officer will assess the physical impact of a proposed development, and the application will also be forwarded to National Air Traffic Services (NATS) for assessment of the effect on navigational aids and radar.

Landscaping and Wildlife

Aircraft are vulnerable to birdstrikes, and 80% of all strikes occur on an aircraft’s take-off or landing phase of flight, therefore highlighting the necessity for wildlife management on and within proximity of an airfield. SIAL 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. Birdstrikes have caused many aviation incidents in the past; including the US Airways flight 1549 which had to make an emergency ditching in the Hudson River. This is why bird strike mitigation at aerodromes is so important, and why we need to manage the risk in our local area.

Any proposed developments which are looking to include landscaping or water features that may increase the risk of bird strike to aircraft must be forwarded to the SIAL Safeguarding Officer for assessment. This includes landfill sites, wetlands, and nature reserves.

Pre Planning Advice

Southampton Airport offers a competitive pre-planning service to all developers and construction companies. A comprehensive report will be provided to ensure that any aviation-specific safety issues are identified and advice will be given on suitable mitigation options. We will also advise on any relevant documentation to include at the time of planning submission. 

For more information please contact sousafeguarding@southamptonairport.com

Tree Management Programme

Under the provisions of the EASA Commission Regulation 139/2014 Southampton Airport is required to manage all obstacles impacting on a set of 3D safeguarded surfaces. These surfaces are designed to protect aircraft operating into and around the airport.

Each year the airport undertakes an independent survey to ascertain the heights of all fixed and temporary obstacles within predetermined areas. The airport authority then produces a plan to address any infringements of these surfaces and allocate funds and resources to ensure compliance with the requirements.

Since the new European legislation came into effect in 2014 Southampton Airport has undertaken annual tree management works in different areas around the site. This work continues each year in line with the airport’s obstacle management strategy.

Examples of recent work include:

Frog's Copse

Some trees in Frog’s Copse were identified as requiring a crown reduction in line with British Standards. Southampton City Council worked with the airport authority to determine whether any of these trees should actually be felled due to their current or future health.

Southampton Airport also removed a number of unsafe trees along the public right of way linking Bitterne Park School with the residential areas in Townhill Park.

We also worked with SO18 Big Local in clearing up Frog’s Copse during one of their organised litter pick events.

M27 Approach and light area works

Southampton Airport worked with the Highways Agency and Southampton City Council to remove a number of trees alongside the westbound carriageway of the M27 and near the airport approach lights that were penetrating the safeguarded surfaces.

Northern Railyard

Southampton Airport worked with Network Rail and Arriva Train Care to remove about 20 trees directly within the flight path.

Bitterne Park

The airport worked with the council and local landowners to reduce the height of a number of trees near Bitterne Park School and along Castle Road.

Current Projects:

Marlhill Copse

For full information on the tree works at Marlhill Copse, please click here.

If you have any queries or require further information, please contact Marlhill@southamptonairport.com