Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SEMA meeting - 2nd June 7.30pm

Join SEMA for a public meeting this Thursday and Benchill Community Centre.
It will be an opportunity to find out what the airport's plans are, how it will affect local communities and how to move forwards.

For more information or to contribute to the agenda contact manchesterairportontrial@gmail.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Camp at the End of The Runway 27th-29th May

Just as the airport thought that the trial had ended and they were in for a quite summer, Manchester Airport on Trial in conjunction with Manchester Climate Action have swung into action fo organise a weekend of camping, exploring and workshops down at the airport!

From Friday the 27th May to Sunday 29th May a temporary camp will be set up in the woods, with the opportunity to meet other campaigners, local residents, and find out more about the airport's expansion plans.

Meet 5.30pm at Piccadilly Station 27th May, or at 6pm outside Manchester Central Library for Critical Mass. We will go straight to the camp from Critical Mass.
Alternate meet time: 11am Heald Green Station Sat 28th May for the walk and cycle caravan.
Some hot (vegan) food will be provided for both evenings and breakfast will be sorted too!

What else to bring:
Bike (walkers welcome too, but cycling will be easier)
Decorations for your bike
Camping Kit
Food- Lunch for Saturday
For further info, to find out where we are or get in contact call 07415 940903 or email manchesterairportontrial@gmail.com
See you in the woods!

Timetable for the weekend
5.30pm Meet at Piccadilly Station
6.00pm Meet outside Manchester Central Library for Critical Mass (Cyclists)
7.00pm Depart Critical Mass for the camp
8.30pm Dinner and set up camp
9pm Introduction to the weekend, introductions and stories. Film showing

Yoga first thing in the morning
9 am Breakfast
11.00 am Meet at Heald Green for Bike Caravan or Walk
2.30 pm Walkers and Cyclists meet for at the Romper pub late lunch before continuing on their separate ways
4.30 pm Cyclists meet residents at the Railway Inn, Mobberley
7.00 pm Dinner in the woods followed by social and chilling

Breakfast followed by tat down. Maybe an extra walk. Lifts to the station can be provided if necessary

Manchester Airport – it’s not for the birds

Over 100 employees at Manchester Airport have been given allotment plots, on the outskirts of the airport site, but still only a few hundred metres from the main runway. But the range of food that they can grow is restricted, fruit, or any other plant which might attract birds, is banned. Birds and airports are fundamentally incompatible. Bird strikes, aircraft collisions with birds, can endanger the flights, and are inevitably fatal for the birds as they are minced up in the plane’s engines. In the UK, 1,299 bird strikes were reported to the CAA Civil Aviation Authority in 2007.

On 29th April 2007, a Thomson Fly Boeing 757 with 221 passengers on board took off from Manchester airport on a flight to Lanzarote. Seconds after take-off two birds were sucked into the aircraft’s right engine. After dumping excess fuel the pilot retuned to the airport and made a safe landing using one engine. In this video you can see a bird being sucked into the engine, and the resulting fire. Fortunately the pilot was able to make a safe landing. Bird strikes can appear dramatic with the engines catching fire, but aircraft are designed to withstand this and few incidents result in serious accidents. Between 1988 and 2000, nearly 200 people were killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes. This is a small proportion of total air fatalities, which totalled 502 in 2008 alone.

All airports manage habitats on and around the site, in order to make the environment unattractive to birds, removing food sources including edible plants and grasses and shrubs which are habitats for worms and insects, treatment of grass along runways with insecticides and removal of shrubs and any other areas which could be used for nesting. But airports can still prove attractive for birds as the surrounding land is often undeveloped. In 2007 a seagull made a nest and incubated eggs on roof of a car in the long stay car park at Inverness Airport.

When habitat management fails to keep birds away, airports use a variety of methods to frighten them away from runways and flightpaths. Loud noises such as sirens, explosives, firearms and the distress calls of target species are played, and Manchester is one of many airports which uses falcons to chase smaller birds away. Birds can prove remarkably adaptable to all these attempts to frighten them away. When this occurs birds might be relocated, recently a flock of swans was relocated from the Docklands near London City Airport to the town of Windsor in Berkshire. But, frequently, birds which might endanger flights are killed, their eggs destroyed and their nests removed. In 2009, Manchester Airport was preparing for a cull of 800 rooks, one of the largest rookeries in Greater Manchester, in woodland near the airfield, where they had lived there for 300 years. There was a reprieve after an outcry and opposition from residents, bird watchers and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 180 people signed a petition opposing the cull.

Posted by Rose Bridger