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Incinerator concerns addressed by Indaver

Thursday, 18th May, 2017 1:01am

The company planning to build a controversial incinerator in Cork has told the planning authorities it will not pose any threat to aviation safety.

Indaver had until Monday to respond to issues with the planning application that An Bord Pleanála requested on 20 March. The waste company responded on that date in relation to the concerns surrounding its incinerator in Ringaskiddy.

Indaver was asked for further details regarding discrepancies with the contents of an environmental impact statement (EIS).

Also brought to An Bord Pleanála’s attention was issues about helicopter navigation safety at Haulbowline Naval Base, by the Department of Defence.

In a letter, seen by Cork Independent, Indaver denied that there was any discrepancies in one of the contents, called Appendix 6.3 of the EIS regarding soil and sediment sampling. However, Indaver confirmed that there were two incorrect print outs in Appendix 6.4 of the EIS and gave the planning authorities the correct print outs.

As for the helicopter navigation and aviation safety, Indaver said its planned incinerator will have no effect on it. Indaver commissioned experts to examine the impact of the plume on helicopter flight, to write a report on helicopter navigation and another report on aviation safety.

In the letter sent to an Bord Pleanála, Indaver based its findings on this expert analysis. The letter said: “The plume will have no effect on helicopters other than in the immediate vicinity of the stack (that is 3.5 metres or less radius from the top of the stack). In these circumstances, we understand that the basis for the Department of Defence’s concern falls away.”

Referring to the experts who wrote the report about helicopter safety, the company said that they concluded that the proposed development does not pose any additional flight safety consideration to the safety of Irish Air Corps helicopter operations from Haulbowline Naval Base. These experts, Indaver says, have served in the military and have “extensive experience” in helicopter operations.

They noted that the aviation environment in the proximity of the proposed development already imposes existing significant constraints on helicopter operations.

“Given these already-existing constraints and the flight safety considerations they impose, the proposed development will not have any effect on the flight profiles or paths which should be currently flown from Haulbowline,” the letter said.

As for the aviation safety, this was examined by a former member of the Irish Air Corps whose area of expertise, Indaver told An Bord Pleanála, is air transport safety and accident investigations.

He noted that there are already significant limits on helicopter operations in the area of the proposed development.

In light of these limits, he also concluded that the proposed development will not require the imposition if any further restrictions on helicopter operations.

The letter said: “In addition, in his expert opinion, the proposed development does not pose a threat to the safety of Air Corps helicopter operations conducted in the area of the Naval Service base at Haulbowline and nearly (sic) Spike Island in Cork Harbour.”

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