Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 14:06 UK

Birds 'inherent risk to aircraft'

Ryanair planes
The Ryanair flight was destined for Birmingham

A Ryanair aeroplane which left City of Derry Airport had to make an unscheduled landing at Dublin Airport after being struck by a flock of birds.

It happened on Monday just after the plane began its journey to Birmingham.

A spokeswoman for City of Derry Airport said no-one was injured and passengers were transferred onto another flight.

Damien Tierney, Derry City Council's executive officer with the airport said birds posed "an inherent difficulty for aircraft".

The airport spokeswoman said a report of the incident would be made to the relevant authorities.

"The aircraft was diverted to Dublin to allow technicians to check the aircraft," she said.

We don't want them feeding, nesting or flying over the airport
Damien Tierney
Derry City Council

"The airport's bird hazard management procedures were in operation and a report of the incident will be made to relevant authorities."

Mr Tierney said airports could be very attractive places for nesting birds.

"The bird hazard management policy at City of Derry airport is in place 365 days a year," he said.

"What we try to do is make the airfield as inhospitable as possible for birds. We don't want them feeding, nesting or flying over the airport.

"That can be very difficult. They are 350 acres of open grassland and we have the added difficulty that we are beside Lough Foyle.

"Airport operations staff look out to 13km around the airport to see if there are any specific hazards that are attracting birds on flight paths.

"That could be anything from newly ploughed fields to a rubbish dump."

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