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Birmingham Airport: HS2 will cause aeroplanes to be at higher risk of crashes

Birmingham | News | Published:

Aeroplanes will be at higher risk of crashes due to bird strikes because of the high-speed rail line HS2, officials have warned.

Birmingham Airport bosses are worried that large ponds built close to a proposed new station serving the airport would attract an influx of geese and other birds.

Although the airport is in favour of HS2 – which will see it just 38 minutes from London – they are petitioning against the scheme to obtain several changes to the £50bn plans.

"Bird strike, when birds get into the engines of aircraft, is a serious, if not fundamental, issue for safe and efficient operation of the airport," the petition states.

"Hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent annually on ensuring that bird strike does not happen. If bird strike does happen, the results can be catastrophic, leading to, at worst, aircraft crashes and loss of life.

"In this regard your Petitioner has significant concerns relating to the large number of ponds that are proposed at the Interchange Station.

"Various types of gull and waterfowl such as Canada geese and other geese species will be particularly attracted to the ponds potentially bringing them more frequently into conflict with aircraft."

A committee of six backbench MPs will shortly begin the process of considering 1,925 petitions from people or organisations directly affected by the London to Birmingham phase of the planned £50 billion line.

David Winstanley, chief operating officer for Birmingham Airport, said:

"The intention of our petition is to ensure that the proposals maximise the economic benefits, are compatible with the future interests of the airport."

David Meechan, HS2 spokesman said: "Birmingham Airport will be at the heart of a new north-south rail network that will free up much needed capacity on Britain's crowded railways."

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