Birds and flying fields for model aviation

    Conflicts between the interests of model aviation and nature conservation can be avoided with an adequate choice of location for flying fields.

    Aims

    Sensitive bird species can suffer from the consequences of model aviation, which may, for example, compromise reproduction or result in species leaving/avoiding an area altogether. To avoid conflicts between model aviation and sensitive bird species in the first place, the Swiss Ornithological Institute and the Swiss Aeromodelling Association have, in agreement with the Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds SVS/BirdLife Switzerland, compiled recommendations for the choice of locations of new flying fields for model airplanes in relation to nature and bird conservation. These recommendations are directed to agencies, stakeholders of model aviation and representatives of nature and bird conservation.

    Significance

    With the suggested approach, conflicts between model aviation and species or habitats in need of protection can be identified in advance and thus avoided. To establish a flying field for model airplanes, a building license is often needed, which is accompanied by an assessment of potential conflicts. The suggested approach prevents time-consuming objections.

    Results

    The cantonal nature conservation agency, communal authorities and representatives of nature and bird conservation should be contact early in the planning phase of a flying field for model aviation. In the recommendations (in german), areas are depicted where no conflicts are to be expected. At the same time, areas with species particularly in need of protection and with species or habitats particularly sensitive to disturbance are compiled to decide whether detailed investigations into the consequences of a new flying field are needed, or whether the flying field should be constructed differently or not at all.

    Project management

    Daniela Heynen

    Partners

    Swiss Aeromodelling Association
    Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds SVS/BirdLife Switzerland