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Liberations near Airfields

We have received a complaint from Bournemouth Airport of an organisation not following the correct procedure and resulting in a near miss with an aircraft on Sunday.  

In accordance with RPRA Rules (Page 28 of the 2019 Rule Book), “a proposed liberation of racing pigeons within 13km of a licensed aerodrome should be notified to the aerodrome authority or air traffic control provider at least fourteen days prior to the date of release. In addition, the ATC unit should be notified by telephone at least 30 minutes before release time, in order to confirm, where practicable, the number of birds due to be liberated and the intended destination and direction of flight. If necessary, the ATC manager or senior controller may request a delay in the liberation by up to 30 minutes (or longer in exceptional circumstances) for traffic purposes.”

Please also refer to Page 29 of the Rule Book for confirmation of aerodromes where liberation of pigeons is forbidden within an 8 mile radius. The list of airfields requiring notification is downloadable here.

Failure to meet these requirements will result in disciplinary action.

Ian Evans
General Manager


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