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Potential biodiversity issues

  • Damage to habitats at or around the location of the crash
  • Mortality or injury of or disturbance to species at or around the location of the crash
  • Release of damaging substances into the environment
    • oil
    • chemicals
    • cargo, including hazardous substances
  • Fire or explosions, leading to further damage to habitats or species
  • Secondary damage or disturbance to habitats and/or species during rescue/containment operations or other remedial actions

Potential mitigation measures

By its nature, an aircrash will be a rapidly occurring event at an unpredictable location, with (depending on the size and type of aircraft involved) a risk to human life of varying magnitude. It is highly unlikely that the immediate direct effects of the crash can be significantly mitigated. However, once pressing issues of safety of human life and major infrastructure have been accounted for, the following considerations may apply:

  • Assess the sensitivity of the location of the crash: is it in or in proximity to a statutorily designated site; is it in or in proximity to an area of particular importance (e.g. one likely to hold high concentrations of bird species). See bird density maps and Oil Spill Response GIS
  • If there is actual or potential release of damaging substances into the environment, make best efforts to take all necessary steps to avoid or minimise discharges and to activate appropriate pollution response procedures
  • Subsequently, if action is required to remove debris from sensitive locations (e.g. statutorily designated sites), agree with the relevant authorities/operators a method of working that minimises further damage or disturbance to biodiversity interests
  • Make best efforts to brief Natural England and Environment Agency at appropriate times and that any advice is implemented
  • If mortality or injury of species is likely or confirmed, make best efforts to inform RSPB and RSPCA.