Why is there a low-flying airplane over Cork? and what can landowners do?

11 September 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Q: Why is a Canadian registered white airplane flying over Cork?
A: It’s equipped with
state-of -the-art instruments and part of a Geo survey.

The word “Survey” is written on the airplane with reg C-GSGF

The airplane will fly over counties Laois, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford, and neighbouring parts of Offaly, Cork, Carlow and Kildare from September until the end of the year, weather permitting.

It’s part of the ‘Tellus Survey’ – a nationwide programme of Geological Survey Ireland – will take off over southern and central counties of Ireland in the coming days. Tellus is a programme to collect geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland. To gather the geophysical data,

The Tellus Survey programme has been mapping across Ireland over the last nine years and is currently funded under Project2040 the National Development Plan by Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The programme aims to have 75% of Ireland mapped by 2020, with the resulting data having the potential to deliver positive economic, environmental and agricultural benefits by helping to assist in local environment understanding, soil management, and natural resource potential for these counties. Data collected throughout the Tellus project is published and made freely available to all on the Tellus website (www.tellus.ie).

Dr James Hodgson, Senior Geologist and Project Manager for Tellus, said:

“The Tellus Survey is an important national project, providing valuable insights into the geological makeup of Ireland. The data collected from the Tellus Survey helps us to sustainably manage our environment and natural resources as well as protecting public health. I am delighted that the south central phase has commenced and we thank the communities of Laois, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford Offaly, Cork, Carlow and Kildare for their support during this flying season.”

Based at Waterford airport, the survey plane will be flying at 60 metres over rural areas – about eight times the height of a two-storey house – and 240 metres over urban areas in the coming months, as approved by the Irish Aviation Authority.


Due to the low-flying altitude of the survey aircraft, anyone concerned about sensitive livestock is encouraged to contact the Tellus Freephone Information Line on 1800 45 55 65. The Tellus team will be happy to provide information on upcoming flight plans.

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