Low-flying aircraft collecting data for a geological survey in the southwest could potentially surprise or startle livestock in fields, farmers have been warned.

The survey is being undertaken by Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) over the coming months and will cover Kerry, a small portion of west Limerick and northwest Cork.

GSI warned that the noise from its aircraft is similar to that of a passing lorry and therefore “may surprise or startle sensitive livestock”.

The aircraft will fly at 60m over rural areas and rise to 240m over towns and large villages.

Public awareness

“We are keen to raise public awareness of the project, particularly among farmers and animal owners, and will work closely with those who may have concerns,” GSI stated.

“The plane is easily indentifiable with ‘SURVEY’ branding. It operates in full accordance with the Irish Aviation Authority, with all permits for aerial work and low flying in place,” it added.

The information-gathering flights start from the middle of May and will continue till the end of autumn. The data collected will feed into the Tellus Survey, a national programme to gather geochemical and geophysical information across Ireland.

Tellus is a ground and airborne geoscience mapping programme, collecting geochemical and geophysical data. GSI claims the data collected will help inform and shape the management of Ireland’s environment and natural resources.