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Goats bring flying to a halt in Alderney

Posted Mon 15th March 2010 at 16:31

Farmers are being warned to keep their livestock away from the airport.

A number of animals, including goats, have entered the airport grounds in recent months and caused the runway to be closed.

Police have highlighted the issue in the hope it will avoid a potentially life threatening situation.

A spokesman for Alderney Police said: "We wish to make people aware of this as it could endanger the lives of airline passengers arriving in Alderney.

"Over the past few months a number of non-domestic animals have entered the airport grounds. The entry by these animals has caused the closure of the runway until such times as the animals can be removed from the area.

"The closures not only caused delays in air travel but potentially endangered incoming aircraft."

Owners of animals which trespass could be fined up to £50 and have their livestock detained.

The spokesman added: "As highlighted, this matter has the potential to be extremely dangerous and land owners for the surrounding areas are asked to make persons utilising their grazing/paddocks aware of the law.

"Any animal now found wandering onto the airfield will be detained and the cost to recover the said animal will be met by the owners. None payment of costs will be recovered via a civil debt by the States."

Airport manager Keith Webster said: "The recent increase in incidents involving animals straying onto Alderney airport is very worrying. Any animal large or small presents a very serious safety risk to arriving and departing aircraft. Their behavior is unpredictable, especially in the vicinity of noisy aircraft, and all aviation related operations have to come to a halt while the animal is secured and removed from the airfield. We are currently in discussions with the police in an attempt to resolve the issue."

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