Key Issues in Bird and Other Wildlife Hazard Reduction Efforts
The following is a selected list of key issues for addressing aviation
hazards due to bird and other wildlife strikes. Most bird strikes and all
mammal (e.g., deer) strikes take place on or near airport property, so most
key issues concern preventive actions that should be taken by airport
operators. However, it will take the combined efforts of many groups and
individuals to reduce the potential for a serious accident due to this
Ensure that all airports have
a valid wildlife management plan.
All airports should have a formal wildlife management plan
developed by professional biologists trained in wildlife damage control.
Since airport environments are constantly changing, these plans should be
reviewed with on-site inspections at least every two years.
Ensure that all airports have
personnel properly trained and equipped in wildlife control.
Wildlife management on airports is a complex undertaking with an array of
legal, technical and social aspects. Most large airports need a full-time
biologist to carry out the complex duties of managing wildlife in and around
the facility. Smaller airports need the services of professional biologists
for consultation and to train operations personnel in the latest techniques
of wildlife management.
Zero tolerance for deer and
other large mammals on airport property.
Aircraft strikes from large animals are an increasing threat that has
the potential to cause injury and death to aircraft occupants.
Zero tolerance for geese and
other waterfowl on airport property.
Non-migratory goose populations have grown steadily throughout North
America. These large waterfowl represent a serious threat to
aircraft safety due to their size and flocking behavior.
Zero tolerance for feeding
birds and other wildlife on airport property.
The presence of food tends to attract more wildlife to the area. Enforcing a
ban of feeding wildlife on airport property is well within the authority of
airport operators and is not in violation of federal laws and international
treaties protecting some species of birds and animals.
Zero tolerance for uncovered
trash and garbage receptacles at the airport.
Garbage and trash containers that are not properly secured can
provide food and in some cases shelter for birds and other wildlife.
Ensure the judicious use of
wildlife frightening devices.
Indiscriminate use of frightening or harassment devices such as
gas cannons or other noisemakers will increase habituation and reduce their
Support zoning of areas near
airports to minimize attractants to wildlife.
By ensuring that zoning of areas near airports is consistent with efforts to
reduce the presence of birds, deer, and other wildlife, it is less likely
that wildlife will build up a significant population near airport operating
Promote the reporting of bird
and other wildlife strikes to the appropriate national authority.
Bird strike reports provide critical data for biologists,
aeronautical engineers, and land-use planners to justify and develop
effective programs to reduce damaging bird strikes. Flight crews, ground
crews, maintenance workers, and airfield support staff should all be
encouraged to report the details of any strike or suspected strike.