South Irish Sea Designated Danger Area Query

The Celtic League has written to the Department of Transport in Ireland asking if they were involved in a consultation (undertaken by UK authorities) which has established a new `designated danger area’ for the testing of unmanned – military and civil robotic – aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the South Irish sea area.

The new facility will add to dangers already posed by the military missile testing over many years in the same area.

“The Minister for Transport
Mr Leo Varadkar TD
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
44 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

14/07/11

Ref: United Kingdom – Ireland Air Routes designated danger area South Wales.

Dear Minister,

I understand that as of 28th July an area of South Wales and also a sea area off South Wales will be designated by the United Kingdom authorities for the testing of unmanned – military and civil robotic – aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The UK CAA has indicated that a `full consultation’ was undertaken with relevant interested parties prior to the designation of this air space for testing of UAVs.

Can I enquire if the Irish government was involved in the consultation and whether any reservations have been raised with the UK about the possible hazards which could be caused to civil air traffic.

Whilst military UAVs have been extant for some years their operation has not been without problems and in other countries which are developing these technologies (such as the United States) their operation has been deemed problematic and attempts to allow testing near civil air routes or facilities have been resisted.

Indeed there have also been difficulties with this technology at the West Wales site and shortly after initial testing there of UAVs (in 2009) one of the test vehicles became uncontrollable shortly after take-off and crashed.

I attach an illustration of the overland parameters of the proposed danger area. However you will of course be aware that (as with missile testing already undertaken in this area) these parameters are often exceeded.

At this time we have no definite information on what extent of offshore area in the South Irish sea is likely to be used for this testing. If the UK authorities have provided this information to your Department we would be grateful if you could share this information with us.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

For more detail about UAV problems at this location see this link:

https://www.bepj.org.uk/drone-crashes-at-parc-aberporth

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

14/07/11

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