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Heathrow Airport: possible increase in bird-strikes

London wonders about risks from building with roof gardens

The building committee of the District Council of Hillingdon, a suburb of London, unanimously approved the plan for the construction of a new residential complex in recent days. It consists of three buildings with rooftop gardens. These buildings will be constructed near the London-Heathrow airport. As a result, some local politicians have expressed fears because of the trees, in which birds could nest and cause bird-strikes.

"The safe operation of the airport is our top priority. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that any development around the airport allows us to continue to achieve this", said a London-Heathrow spokesman. 

During the building committee meeting, a policy adviser warned that airport operators are concerned that the roof gardens could attract different species of birds, providing them with a potential habitat, which could collide with aircraft and cause serious accidents. 

According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 2016 there were 1835 bird strikes in the UK. However, Hillingdon District Council ensures that its risk management plan is effective against such events: the building committee plans to install litter bins on roof gardens and in public areas so that birds are not attracted to urban waste. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency