Navigation Aid Impact Assessments
Aircraft throughout the world utilise various navigation aids to enhance safety and efficiency. There are many forms of navigation aid, however they generally utilise an emitted radio signal to transfer information between the aircraft and an installation on the ground.
Building developments can adversely affect navigation aids, predominantly via obstruction or reflection of the emitted signal – although concerns regarding emissions from a development itself can also be raised. Assessing the impact requires quantification of the technical effects and evaluation of these effects in an operational context.
Mobile Coverage Assessments and Surveys
Building developments affect mobile phone reception and internet coverage in their area. This is because large structures reduce the strength of wireless signals in their shadow. In addition, coverage within a new development can be variable.
In some cases it is a planning requirement (or a developer’s preference) to conduct a survey of coverage before and/or after construction. Such surveys can be undertaken within a new building development to establish coverage and/or at key locations outside it to establish the level of degradation caused by the building. Pager Power provides such surveys, utilising a hand-held 4G signal analyser, considering the main networks.
Broadband Connectivity Assessment
New residential developments in the UK must comply with countless regulations and requirements based on current expectations and rights of future tenants. It is common for new developments to require a broadband connectivity assessment in order to demonstrate that future occupants will have access to superfast internet services.
Pager Power offers these assessments, in keeping with the requirements and guidance from UK planning authorities and BT Openreach.
Television/ Radio Post Construction Survey
Where required by a planning condition – or following reported interference – it can be necessary to carry out a post-construction survey to evaluate whether the development has caused degradation of services. Where possible, the survey results should be compared to baseline survey results. If no baseline data is available, effects can be evaluated based on the post-construction results only. Pager Power offers post-construction surveys, generally undertaken with a custom survey vehicle using a receiving aerial extended to 10 metres above ground and an advanced signal analyser.
Crane Operation Scheme
New building developments require cranes for their construction. These cranes need to be taller than the building itself – in some cases by a very large margin. Building developments within 15-20 km of airports are often subject to height restrictions for collision avoidance reasons.
Consequently, where cranes are operating at such sites, it is necessary for an operations scheme to be agreed with the relevant airport to manage safety concerns accordingly. Pager Power has provided such schemes for many developments around London airports and is well placed to prepare the required schemes.
Public Safety Zone (PSZ) Assessment
Public Safety Zones are established at the end of UK airport runways to manage safety concerns pertaining to air accidents. The zones have a defined boundary within which development is restricted – with the goal of limiting the number of people that would be in the zone if there was an aircraft incident.
Development is not forbidden within a Public Safety Zone, however there are restrictions that relate predominantly to the type of development that is being proposed. New residential development, for example, is unlikely to be approved whilst development that does not attract large numbers of people (such as a long-stay car park) are more likely to be accepted. Pager Power provides assessments and advice pertaining to development within Public Safety Zones.
Network Rail Assessment
Railway operations are key to transport infrastructure in many countries throughout the world. Solar reflections towards railway lines can be problematic, predominantly for two reasons. Reflected light can cause discomfort and/or distraction to a train driver and could potentially illuminate a railway signal bulb giving the false impression that the signal is on when this is not the case in reality.
Building developments with reflective surfaces (including glass façades and windows) can receive objections from railway operators on the grounds of safety due to potential reflections. Pager Power offers assessment of these potential issues based on detailed modelling of where and when reflections could occur, along with a determination of impact significance.
NATS – formerly National Air Traffic Services – provide en-route air navigation services throughout the United Kingdom. They operate numerous radar and navigation aids, which can be adversely affected by building developments.
Pager Power has a comprehensive database of NATS installations and extensive experience in modelling potential effects. A range of assessments is available, from feasibility assessments to mitigation studies where required.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Building developments of a significant scale require environmental impact assessments. This is typically in the form of an environmental impact assessment report covering a range of topics supported by technical assessments (which are often appended to the main report).
Pager Power has extensive experience in supporting this process, by undertaking the requisite technical analysis and/or preparation of chapters for the environmental impact assessment report itself.
In order to understand the constraints on a proposed building development, various technical information is required. Some of this is the public domain, and much is contained within Pager Power’s proprietary databases. In some cases, further information is required from stakeholders.
Pager Power is well placed to undertake stakeholder consultation as it pertains to proposed developments, having developed longstanding relationships with many stakeholders around the world. Stakeholders can include Airports & Aerodrome Operators, NATS, the Ministry of Defence, Telecoms Providers, Network Rail and Aviation Authorities.
Support and Advice
Pager Power offers a range of technical assessments, each designed to address common issues that can otherwise constrain development. However, specific scenarios are all different and bespoke approaches are required as often as not.
Pager Power is well placed to provide ad-hoc support and advice in a number of ways. Our approach is to be flexible in order to support individual needs. Common types of support include meeting attendance, teleconferences, technical presentations, review of external documentation, provision of written technical input and representation at appeal.
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