Large scale aerial ecology surveys of Irish coastal waters set to begin as specialist plane arrives in Cork

Large scale aerial ecology surveys of Irish coastal waters set to begin as specialist plane arrives in Cork

Sarah Kandrot, Green Rebel Group, and Gerry Humphreys, AFTA, Mick Horgan, CEO Green Rebel Group and Paul Daly, Weston Aviation at Cork Airport to mark the arrival of the specialist Green Rebel Group aerial survey plane. Picture: Clare Keogh

Large scale aerial ecology surveys of Irish coastal waters are set to commence shortly following the arrival of a new special mission aircraft owned by Green Rebel Group into Cork Airport.

The company is leading efforts to establish Cork Harbour as a Green Energy Hub, beginning with a new partnership between Green Rebel Group, Cork Airport, the Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) and Weston Aviation.

Green Rebel Group, established last year by businessman Pearse Flynn, acquired the aircraft to undertake ecological assessments as part of the planning process for marine renewable energy projects, including offshore wind farms. 

The new €1.5 million twin-engine Diamond Air DA42 aircraft, the most environmentally friendly aircraft of its class on the market, will be used to survey thousands of square miles of ocean. 

The aircraft will be based at the Weston Aviation hangar at Cork Airport.

With the purchase of this aircraft, Green Rebel Group will be the only domestic Irish company offering digital aerial surveys for ecological assessments associated with marine renewable energy projects.

Each aerial survey flight will generate terabytes of high-quality imagery. 

The arrival of the specialist Green Rebel Group aerial survey plane. Green Rebel Group is leading efforts to establish Cork Harbour as a Green Energy Hub, beginning with a new partnership between Green Rebel Group, Cork Airport, the Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) and Weston Aviation. Picture: Clare Keogh
The arrival of the specialist Green Rebel Group aerial survey plane. Green Rebel Group is leading efforts to establish Cork Harbour as a Green Energy Hub, beginning with a new partnership between Green Rebel Group, Cork Airport, the Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA) and Weston Aviation. Picture: Clare Keogh

In order to store, process, and backup this data, Green Rebel Group has also built a world-class marine data centre. The high-spec server and supporting IT infrastructure are housed in a secure location at the Cork Airport Business Park.

Sarah Kandrot, Head of Aerial Surveys with Green Rebel Group said the company is delighted that its new aircraft has arrived in Cork.

"This aircraft will help us to compile information that will ensure offshore wind farms are built in the best locations to protect the ecology of the ocean," she said.

"With this aircraft, large sections of the ocean can be surveyed over a shorter period of time than can be achieved with traditional boat-based surveys."

Mark Casey, CEO of AFTA said AFTA is "delighted to have been chosen as the SPO operator for the specialist air survey delivery for Green Rebel Marine."

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, said the addition of the Green Rebel Group aircraft based at the airport will help create new job opportunities.

"We are delighted to welcome the Green Rebel Group to Cork Airport. 

"Covid-19 has provided us with opportunities to diversify our business into new areas supporting cargo, offshore gas and wind operations. 

"As a key economic enabler for the region, Cork Airport will play a big role in the economic recovery ahead. The addition of the Green Rebel Group aircraft based here at Cork Airport will help create new job opportunities particularly in the green energy sector. 

"The Green Rebel Marine Diamond Aviation 42 aircraft will be based at the Weston Aviation Hangar at Cork Airport and we wish them every success in this exciting new offshore wind venture.”

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