The RAF Meetings with local representatives which includes local councillors, LBH and Residents Associations a couple of times a year.
At the last meeting they went over issues which they felt caused safety issues for the planes/airport and were keen that these were passed on:
Flight Sergeant Mark Rich gave a presentation on flight safety and asked that points following points could be passed on as Residents’ Group meetings. Common flight safety issues are:
a. Directed Light – Lasers. Aircraft are often targeted by individuals shining lasers into aircraft on approach or take off. This can cause pilot blindness and is a criminal offence. We report all occurrences to the Police
b. Fireworks. Any large firework display within 3 nautical miles of an airfield must be reported to the airfield.
c. Balloons and ‘Chinese’ Lanterns. These are often found around the airfield. Both can be sucked into air intakes which can cause serious damage. Regulations state that releases of groups of 10+ lanterns or 1000+ balloons before use must be notified to the airfield.
d. UAVs/Drones. These are a growing issue around all airfields and pose a significant flight safety risk. Drones can be easily strike aircraft or damage engines and result in very serious damage. The flying of Drones is governed by CAA regulations which are on the CAA website. Failure to comply with these regulations can be a criminal offence and the operator of the drone has responsibility for their use.
e. Cranes. Any cranes which are required for building work must be reported at the planning stage so RAF Northolt’s ops team can dialogue with the construction teams.