Survey plane takes to the sky over Offaly


The latest airborne phase of Tellus, a major geological survey of Ireland, has taken to the air

over Offaly and will continue during the summer months.

The plane will survey Eastern Ireland including counties Offaly, Meath, Kildare, rural Dublin

and northern parts of Wicklow and Laois. Operators are urging people who may have

sensitive livestock to contact their freephone information line.

Tellus is led by the Geological Survey of Ireland and is funded by the Department of Communications,

Energy and Natural Resources.  The current survey is the fourth phase of a wider geological mapping

project which collects and analyses geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland

.The data collected – which is made freely available to members of the public and interested organisations –

has the potential to deliver positive economic, environmental and agricultural benefits. Previous phases of

Tellus have prompted significant international interest in mineral exploration in the border region and provided information for more detailed radon risk maps.

To gather data, the Tellus project has commissioned an aircraft, equipped with state-of-the-art technology

, which traverses the skies over rural areas at a height of 60m – approximately eight times the height of a standard two storey house.  Based at Weston airport in Co Dublin, the aircraft is a white twin propeller

plane, bearing the registration number C-GSGF.

The survey will operate safely within Irish Aviation Authority permits, however, the sound of the plane

flying overhead is similar to that of a passing lorry and could startle sensitive livestock, such as horses or pedigree cattle. The Tellus survey team is taking every precaution to ensure that the public is fully i

nformed of the flight plans, a point highlighted by Tellus Project Manager, Mairéad Glennon.

She said “this is an important and very exciting project – one which could pay great dividends

in the future in terms of inward investment, land management and agricultural productivity”.

“We are undertaking a communications campaign to make sure that people and animals

on the ground are not disturbed by the low flying aircraft. This includes close contact with

organisations such as the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Irish Farmers’ Association

and the emergency services,” she remarked.

Ms Glennon said “now that the plane is up in the air, we would like anyone who wants to know more about the