Bird Strike Committee USA

 

Best Management Practices

For Airport Wildlife Control

15 June 2007

 

 

Adapted by the Steering Committee of Bird Strike Committee-USA from

Standards For Aerodrome Bird/Wildlife Control

developed by International Bird Strike Committee


Principal Compiler

Ed Cleary

Federal Aviation Administration

Staff Wildlife Biologist

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

This page intentionally left blank

 



1.      Introduction

 

Delegates to the 26th International Birdstrike Committee (IBSC) meeting[1] recommended developing a set of standards or best management practices for the control of hazardous wildlife on airports.  Dr. John Allan, Central Science Laboratory, UK, undertook the task.  He presented the draft standards at the 27th IBSC meeting[2].  The IBSC adopted the recommended best management practices in June 2006.

 

Dr. Allan presented IBSC’s recommended best management practices to the delegates at the 8th joint meeting of Bird Strike Committee USA (BSC-USA)/Bird Strike Committee Canada (BSCC)[3].  BSC-USA’s Steering Committee approved referring IBSC’s recommended best management practices to the BSC-USA membership for consideration and possible adoption.

 

A modified version of IBSC’s recommended best management practices follows.  The changes include “Americanizing” some of the phraseology and spellings and adapting the best management practices to meet conditions existent in the United States.  For example, IBSC used the term “bird/wildlife.”  Historically, birds have been the central focus of airport wildlife hazard issues.  However, data clearly shows birds are not the only group of wildlife that can pose a threat to aviation safety (see Dolbeer et al. 2005, Cleary et al. 2006).  Mammals and large reptiles can pose a serious threat.  Also, invertebrate species (such as insects and worms) can pose an indirect threat by attracting other species of wildlife that pose a direct threat.  For these reasons, this document—unless specifically referencing birds, mammals, reptiles, or other taxa—uses the inclusive term “wildlife”.

 

Several excellent handbooks exist that describe techniques used to manage the wildlife strike risk on airports (for example, CAA 1998, Transport Canada 2001, ACI 2005, Cleary and Dolbeer 2005).  However, there has been little effort to quantify the investment in time, personnel, equipment, and training needed to manage wildlife hazards effectively.  This contrasts sharply with other airport safety requirements.  For example, U.S. Federal regulations specify the required number and size of aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment and the quantity of firefighting agents (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, part 139.317) (14 CFR, part 139.317) as well as the operational requirements (14 CFR, part 139.319).  This inconsistency has arisen in part because the habitat types, the wildlife species present, and the levels of risk caused by wildlife vary widely among airports.  The precise techniques that are successful at one site might not work at another.  The situation is further aggravated by the differences in resources available at each airport and the attitudes of airport managers and air carriers. 

 

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) revised Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) on airport wildlife control became effective in November 2003.  ICAO is updating the guidance material that accompanies the SARPS.  This guidance will, when combined with the various manuals listed above, provide the technical detail needed to set up a wildlife control program.  It does not, however, describe the levels of effort needed to conduct an efficient and successful program.  

This document identifies universally applicable practices.  It suggests levels of airport habitat management, wildlife control equipment, personnel, and other resource that BSC-USA believes an airport needs to manage the wildlife aircraft strike risk effectively.  The best management practices will give airport managers, state and national regulators, the insurance industry, lawyers, and other interested people information about what BSC-USA believes should be the minimum investment in wildlife control at an airport. 

 

BSC-USA believes these standards should apply to any airport certificated under 14 CFR, part 139 to serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier operations.  Airports with unusually high wildlife strike risks should invest more resources in strike prevention than the minimum described below.  BSC-USA recognizes that many reliever and general aviation airports are too small to justify the expense of wildlife control at the levels described in this document; nonetheless, these airports need to be aware of wildlife hazards and have management plans in place.

 

This document distills the collective experience of wildlife and aviation experts into a set of basic management practices the aviation industry can use. No attempt is made to provide a detailed scientific underpinning for the best management practices.  Those wishing to explore the science involved should review the scientific literature and the proceedings of organizations such as IBSC (www.int-birdstrike.com), Bird Strike Committee USA (www.birdstrike.org), Bird Strike Committee Canada (www.birdstrikecanada.com), and the German Birdstrike Committee (www.davvl.de). 

 

2.      BSC-USA Best Management Practices

 

2.1     Airport Wildlife Hazard Management

 

2.1.1   Background

Controlling an airport’s attractiveness to wildlife is fundamental to good wildlife control.  It is more important than wildlife population management for controlling the overall risk.  If an airport provides easily accessible resources to wildlife—food, water, shelter, or breeding sites—the wildlife will continue trying to return despite any strategies used to discourage them.  The control program will fail unless the airport is made as unattractive to wildlife as possible. 

 

Habitat management to deter wildlife involves two steps: (1) identifying the attractive features and (2) imposing changes to either remove the attraction or to deny wildlife access to it. Habitat management, such as improving drainage, installing fences, and changing vegetation cover, is often expensive.  It can also be difficult to get resources for programs such as vegetation management that may take years to carry out, especially when the immediate benefits are not always clear.  Long-term commitment from senior management is essential.  A named member of the airport’s senior management staff should have responsibility for ensuring implementation of all parts of the wildlife hazard management program.  A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Wildlife Hazard Management Plan must identify airport personnel with responsibility for carrying out various parts of the plan (14 CFR 139.337(f) (1)).


Best management practice 1 – Airport Managers:

Assign a senior airport management staff member responsibility for carrying out all parts of the wildlife control program.

 

Best management practice 2 – Airport Managers:

Take part in local planning and land use decisions for proposed land development or land use changes within 5 miles of the airport that could attract hazardous wildlife.

 

2.1.2   Identifying attractions

Most wildlife aircraft strikes occur on the airport, so the logical place to begin looking for wildlife attractants, and setting up control programs, is on the airport.  Available food (invertebrates, small mammals, seeds, fruits, nuts, or plants), water (ponds, ditches, or puddles on the tarmac), shelter (nesting sites, trees, bushes, or buildings), or the security offered by large open spaces will attract wildlife to an airport.  Sometimes it might be obvious what is attracting the wildlife.  In other cases, it might not be obvious.  The attraction will vary from one species to another.  Where doubts exist, get help from a professional wildlife management biologist who is able to identify wildlife attractants on and near the airport. 

 

Do not limit wildlife hazard assessments and wildlife management programs to the airport property.  ICAO recognizes the need to control hazardous wildlife attractants near airports, as well.  In 2003, ICAO published new standards on airport wildlife control[4].  The new standards state the following:

 

The appropriate authority shall take action to eliminate or to prevent the establishment of garbage disposal dumps or any such other source attracting wildlife activity on, or in the vicinity of, an aerodrome unless an appropriate aeronautical study indicates that they are unlikely to create conditions conducive to a wildlife hazard problem (Amendment 5, Annex 14, Volume 1, Chapter 9, §9.4.4).

 

In the United States, wildlife hazard assessments must identify and quantify hazardous wildlife attractants on and within 5 miles of the airport.  The FAA recommends minimum separation distances between an airport’s air operation area (AOA) and any known hazardous wildlife attractant.  For airports serving mainly piston-powered aircraft, the FAA recommends a 5,000-foot separation distance; for airports serving turbine-powered aircraft, the FAA recommends a 10,000-foot separation distance.  A 5-mile separation distance is recommended if the attractant may cause hazardous wildlife to move through the airport’s approach/departure airspace.  Airports that have received Federal grant-in aid assistance must use these standards (see the most recent version of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-33, Hazardous wildlife attractants on or near airports).

 


Best management practice 3 – Airport Managers:

Conduct a wildlife hazard assessment to identify land use practices and geographic features on and near the airport attractive to hazardous wildlife.

  • Get support from a qualified wildlife damage management biologist as needed (see the most recent version of FAA AC 150/5200-36, Qualifications for wildlife biologist conducting wildlife hazard assessments and training curriculums for airport personnel involved in controlling wildlife hazards on airports).
  • Identify the precise nature of the attractants (such as food, water, or cover).

 

2.2            Active Wildlife Control on the Airport

 

2.2.1   Background

Four basic control strategies are available to solve wildlife problems on airports:

  1. Aircraft flight schedule modification;
  2. Habitat modification and exclusion;
  3. Repellent and harassment techniques; and
  4. Wildlife removal.

 

Integrate all four control strategies into the airport’s wildlife hazard management plan, as appropriate.

 

2.2.2   Aircraft flight schedule modification

Although not generally practical for regularly scheduled commercial traffic on larger airports, flight schedule adjustments might be possible in some situations. Such changes can lessen the chance of a strike with a wildlife species that has a predictable pattern of movement.

 

2.2.3   Habitat management

Habitat modification means changing the environment to make it less attractive or inaccessible to the problem wildlife.  After identifying hazardous wildlife attractants on or near the airport, develop a management plan to either remove, reduce in quantity, or deny wildlife access to them, depending on the circumstances at the airport.  All airports are different.  The wildlife species attracted to them will vary from region to region.  Therefore, it is not possible to define precisely what types of habitat management will be effective at a particular site.  Typical examples include stopping agricultural activity on or near the airport[5], manipulating the species and/or height of the airport’s AOA ground cover, removing trees and bushes, eliminating or netting water bodies, excluding wildlife from buildings by netting or other means, and selecting nonattractive planting around terminals.  Regardless of the techniques used, airport managers should assess the wildlife attractions on and near the airport and develop a habitat management plan to reduce these attractions to the extent practicable.  

 

2.2.4   Wildlife dispersal

Repellent and harassment techniques are designed to make the area or resource wanted by wildlife unattractive or to make the wildlife uncomfortable or fearful.  Effective wildlife control requires dispersal of even small numbers of hazardous wildlife as soon as possible from the airport.  This stops them from becoming an attraction to other wildlife.  Their presence suggests there is food or water available or the airport is a safe place to rest.  For these reasons, rapid detection of hazardous wildlife followed by quick dispersal is required. 

 

On their own, air traffic control (ATC), airport operations, or maintenance personnel cannot effectively detect all hazardous wildlife.  Relying on ATC, airport operations, or maintenance personnel to notify the wildlife control staff could result in missing some hazardous wildlife.  It will also result in a delayed response when wildlife is detected.  It will take time for the wildlife control specialists to reach the particular location.  Efficient detection requires a mobile patrol using personnel trained and equipped to disperse wildlife as soon as it is detected.  Diverting the wildlife control staff to other duties will reduce their efficiency. 

 

Bird control at night is more problematic because it is often difficult to detect birds and to determine where birds dispersed from the airport are going.  Control of nocturnal mammals may only be possible at night when they are active. 

 

2.2.5   Wildlife removal

Habitat modification, exclusion, and repellent techniques are the first lines of action in any wildlife hazard management plan.  However, these actions will not solve every problem.  Therefore, hazardous wildlife sometimes must be removed from an airport by capturing and relocating or by killing the target animals.  Any wildlife removal must be done humanely and only by people who are trained in wildlife species identification and the removal techniques used.  State and Federal permits are needed to remove most wildlife on airports.

 

Best management practice 4 – Airport Managers:

Using the wildlife hazard assessment as a basis, develop a wildlife hazard management plan (WHMP) that addresses all issues identified during the assessment.

  • Integrate all four basic control strategies into the WHMP to the extent possible. 
  • Keep detailed records of the plan’s development, implementation, and results.

 

Best management practice 5 – Airport Managers:

Have properly trained and equipped wildlife control specialists present on the airport at least 15 minutes before any air carrier aircraft movement. 

  • Have wildlife control specialists present on the airport throughout daylight hours if aircraft movements occur at intervals of less than 15 minutes. 
  • At night, when conditions warrant, have wildlife control specialists check runways and taxiways for wildlife regularly and take control actions as needed. 
  • Do not require wildlife control specialists to undertake other duties immediately prior to or while aircraft movements are occurring. 
  • For airports with few aircraft movements, 15 minutes may not be long enough to disperse all hazardous wildlife from the vicinity of the runway.  In this case, deploy the control specialists far enough in advance of aircraft movements to allow full dispersal of any hazardous wildlife. 

2.3     Organization

 

2.3.1   Background

Airports may adopt various organizational structures for their wildlife control program.  These vary from having wildlife control as a secondary duty of aircraft rescue and firefighting, maintenance, or operational personnel to employing wildlife management specialists or full-time wildlife control units.  Wildlife control staffed from larger units has the advantage of more personnel on call and greater flexibility in coping with sudden increases in wildlife numbers.  However, personnel employed mainly in other roles may regard wildlife control as a secondary or low-status duty that, if only carried out on rare occasions, is not their personal responsibility.  Small, specialized units staffed by people who have a real interest and training in wildlife and wildlife control will clearly recognize that responsibility for airport wildlife lies with them.  This ownership of the wildlife problem can be a powerful motivation to improve standards of wildlife control.  Such units may find it difficult to cope with staff illness or sudden increases in wildlife numbers that require assignment of added personnel.  Regardless of organizational system used, it should deliver the standards described elsewhere in this document.

 

2.3.2   Collaboration and coordination between organizations on the airport

Communication between the various groups and organizations on an airport is essential for good wildlife control.  Airport operations, grounds and maintenance departments, air traffic control, airport fire service, fixed-based operators, airport restaurants and catering services, airport planners, and air carriers all have a role to play in identifying and correcting problems.  Airport management should ensure that a system exists (such as an airport wildlife hazard working group or strike prevention committee) that enables these organizations to take part in the airport’s wildlife hazard management program.

 

2.3.2.a            Air Traffic Control

Air traffic control personnel must report any unsafe conditions, including hazardous wildlife on or near the AOA, to the appropriate airport personnel anytime such conditions are observed.  Also, to the extent permitted by higher priority duties and other circumstances, air traffic controllers are required to—

  • Issue advisory information on pilot-reported, tower-reported, or radar-observed and pilot-verified bird activity; and
  • Relay bird activity information to adjacent facilities and to Flight Service Stations (FSS) whenever it appears the wildlife hazard will become a factor in the area (see the most recent version of FAA Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control).

 

2.3.2.b           Pilots

Pilots have a responsibility to report all unsafe conditions on or near an airport, including birds or other wildlife that could pose a threat to aircraft safety.  Pilots and other airline or airport personnel should report all known wildlife strikes. Also, pilots should delay takeoff or landing when hazardous wildlife is present on or near the AOA.

 

2.3.2.c            Airport tenants 

Fixed-based operators, catering services, and airport concessionaires must ensure their actions do not create hazardous wildlife attractants.  Good housekeeping and sanitation can go a long way toward reducing the attractiveness of an area to birds and other wildlife.

 

Best management practice 6 – Airport Managers:

Develop a system that ensures rapid flow of information about wildlife hazards among all airport departments.  An airport wildlife hazard working group is a good way of doing this.  The working group should include a representative from each of the key groups and agencies that have a significant involvement or interest in wildlife issues on the airport. 

 

2.4     Equipment

 

2.4.1   Background

Certain basic equipment, such as pyrotechnics, distress calls, and sometimes firearms, is required to adequately control hazardous wildlife on or near an airport.  The equipment needed will depend on the species involved, the size of the airport, and the number of personnel used.     

 

Wildlife deterrent devices can be broadly divided into visual, acoustic, and lethal categories.  These can be further subdivided into portable and static systems.  The levels of sophistication, and therefore cost, are variable and include the simple scarecrow (static visual), complex radio-controlled sound generators (static acoustic), pyrotechnics and vehicle-mounted distress call apparatuses (mobile acoustic), handheld lasers (mobile visual), traps (static lethal), and guns (mobile lethal).  The choice of system or systems to be used will depend on cost, legal and logistical constraints, and the species being controlled. 

 

Some of the wildlife control devices available to airports have not undergone a rigorous scientific evaluation of their effectiveness.  It is not possible, therefore, to recommend particular devices for wildlife control at every airport. 

 

2.4.2   Portable equipment

Portable equipment used by airport personnel on the airport offers the best control, provided the personnel involved are properly trained and motivated.  Wildlife perceives pyrotechnics or vehicle-mounted distress call generators as direct threats.  Perceived threats are variable in time and location, thus increasing their effectiveness.  This variability is not possible with static systems. 

 

Consistent with relevant wildlife take and firearms-use controls, wildlife control personnel might need firearms to remove wildlife that cannot be dispersed by nonlethal means.  When using firearms, wildlife control personnel must be properly trained, have the proper firearms and ammunition, and have the necessary Federal and state permits. 

 

There is some debate about the need for lethal control in airport wildlife management.  However, most experts agree, to maintain their effectiveness, nonlethal pyrotechnics and other devices must occasionally be reinforced with lethal control.  The occasional use of lethal control reduces wildlife habituation to nonlethal control devices and allows selective removal of any wildlife failing to respond to nonlethal dispersal techniques.

 

2.4.3   Static devices

Static wildlife scaring devices, such as gas cannons or other sound generators, lose their effectiveness quickly.  Some of the more sophisticated devices that produce various sounds in random or preprogrammed order can delay habituation.  Static devices are best for short-term use over a limited area and should be used with portable equipment already described. 

 

2.4.4   Trained predators (raptors and dogs)

Trained raptors and dogs can be effective in dispersing some species of wildlife in certain situations.  Raptors and dogs are only one tool among many.  They are not a panacea.  The successful use of raptors and dogs requires a large investment in training for the animals and their handlers.  This training is essential to ensure the animals themselves do not become a strike risk and to maximize their deterrent value.  Do not underestimate the time and cost involved in incorporating raptors or dogs into a wildlife control program.  The use of trained predators alone is not an acceptable substitute for the use of other wildlife management techniques.

 

Best management practice 7 – Airport Managers:

Provide airport wildlife control specialists with control equipment suitable to the wildlife species present, the numbers of wildlife present, and the area to be controlled. 

  • Provide the wildlife control specialists with proper training in the use of wildlife control devices.
  • Provide suitable devices for removal of wildlife, such as firearms or traps, or the means of calling on expert support to supply these techniques at short notice.
  • Keep records of all training provided.

 

2.5     Logging Wildlife Management Activities

 

2.5.1   Background

Many air carriers and their insurance companies are taking legal action against airport managers and regulators to recover the costs of wildlife strike damage.  It is important that airport wildlife control specialists record all wildlife control actions taken.  These records can help prove a satisfactory wildlife control program was in place if an incident occurs and the program was functioning properly.  Data gathered as part of a wildlife control program is also important in assessing the effectiveness of control actions taken.  There are several different methods for recording data; everything from simple paper records to sophisticated devices based on pocket PC technology.  The latter save time and effort, especially when entering the data onto a computer for further analysis.  Regardless of the recording methods used, keep a detailed and comprehensive record of all wildlife control activities.  Summarize these records at least every 12 consecutive months. This will help prove the airport is following its own policies and procedures.

 

Best management practice 8 – Airport Wildlife Control Specialists:

Record the following at least every 30 minutes.  If air traffic is so infrequent that wildlife patrols are more than 30 minutes apart, make an entry for each patrol carried out.

  • Areas of the airport patrolled;
  • Numbers, location, and species of wildlife seen;
  • Action taken to disperse the wildlife;
  • Results of the action; and
  • General information such as the name of the wildlife control specialists on duty, time on and off duty, and weather at the start of a duty period.

 

2.6     Wildlife Strike Reporting

 

2.6.1   Background

All wildlife management programs must be monitored to see if they are working effectively and whether they need to be adjusted, extended, or improved.  The only effective way to do this is by collating wildlife strike data for the airport concerned.  Other measures, such as counting the wildlife on the airport, provide useful added information, but are not a direct measure of the strike risk at the airport. 

 

Report all strikes, whether they cause damage to the aircraft and regardless of the wildlife species involved.  Unless the species struck on the airport are known, management efforts cannot be directed correctly.  Do not penalize airport or air carrier personnel for reporting wildlife strikes.  Even though strikes to large airliners from small species such as swallows or sparrow-sized birds are unlikely to cause damage, encourage airport or air carrier personnel to report them. 

 

Never use the total number of strikes at an airport as a measure of strike risk or the performance of the wildlife control specialists.  The number of reported strikes should increase when a hazardous wildlife control program is started and airport personnel become aware of the situation and the need to report strikes.  The increase in reported strikes is an artifact of education and effort, not the result of an increase in the number of strikes.  The main risk arises from strikes with larger species and smaller species that form large flocks (for example, European starlings).  Use a risk assessment that combines strike frequency with likely severity to assess the risk (see below).  Remember, a risk assessment cannot work effectively unless all strikes are reported.

 

2.6.2   Definition of a wildlife strike

The FAA uses the following definition (see the most recent version of FAA AC 150/5200-32, Reporting wildlife aircraft strikes):

 

  1. A pilot reports striking one or more birds or other wildlife;
  2. Aircraft maintenance personnel identify aircraft damage as caused by a wildlife strike;
  3. Personnel on the ground report seeing an aircraft strike one or more birds or other wildlife;
  4. Bird or other wildlife remains, whether in whole or in part, are found within 200 feet of a runway centerline, unless another reason for the animal's death is identified; and
  5. An animal's presence on the airport had a significant negative affect on a flight (for example, aborted takeoff or landing, high-speed emergency stop, or an aircraft left the pavement area to avoid collision with an animal).

 

To better understand the risk, include as many strike events as possible in an inclusive definition.  However, including all strike reports in an airport’s dataset raises problems.  For example, if a pilot reports a strike on approach and a check of the area for a carcass and inspection of the aircraft shows no evidence of a strike, there is no confirmation that a strike occurred.  Other than documenting a possible strike on or near the airport, such a report provides little useful information (such as wildlife species, numbers, and damage levels) that can aid in targeting airport wildlife control efforts.  Record unconfirmed strikes but do not subject them to the rigorous analysis described in paragraph 2.7. 

 

Many countries also record near misses in their wildlife strike databases; the FAA does not.  Defining a near miss is more problematic as it involves the pilot’s interpretation of how close the wildlife was to the airplane and whether this posed a threat to safety.  Also, at airports located in areas with high bird populations, it might be difficult for an observant pilot to land or take off without seeing birds at some distance from the aircraft.  Every movement might be regarded as a near miss.  Collecting near miss information could prove valuable, but, as with unconfirmed strikes, do not include near misses in the airport’s strike statistical analysis.  Set up databases to separate unconfirmed strikes and near misses from other wildlife strikes when evaluating the dataset. 

 

Best management practice 9 – Airport and Air Carrier Personnel:

There are three categories of wildlife incidents:

1.   Confirmed strikes:

·        Any reported collision between wildlife and an aircraft for which evidence in the form of carcass remains or damage to the aircraft is found.

·        Any wildlife found dead on an airport where there is no other obvious cause of death.

2    Unconfirmed strikes:

·        Any reported collision between wildlife and an aircraft for which no physical evidence is found.

3    Serious incidents:

·        Incidents where the presence of wildlife on or around the airport had a negative affect on a flight; even if there was no contact between the aircraft and wildlife.

 

These definitions ensure the maximum quantity of information is gathered and that only reliable evidence is used in assessing the effectiveness of the wildlife management program. 

 

Anyone with direct knowledge of a strike should report it.  Consistent with the organizational structure in a particular country or at an individual airport, send all strike reports to a central location where duplicate strikes can be merged and more information gathered. Reporting wildlife strikes is the responsibility of all personnel with direct knowledge of material facts; this includes air carrier personnel, airport operations, air traffic control, and pilots.  It is important the airport has a system for ensuring that it is aware, as much as is possible, of all strikes that happen on or near its property. 

 

2.6.3   Analysis of wildlife strike data

Effective analysis of wildlife strike data is important.  Separating strikes that occur on or near the airport[6] from those that occur further out in the approaches helps to identify strikes that are likely to be influenced by the airport wildlife management program.  Similarly, separating strikes with species that are over 100 grams in weight (those more likely to cause damage) and giving greater emphasis to strikes with flocking birds help to identify trends in the real wildlife strike risk at the airport.  An airport with an increasing rate of wildlife strikes is not necessarily becoming a more risky place to fly.  An increase in strikes because of an increase in incidents with small species, as long as the rate of strikes with large species and flocking species is falling, suggests better wildlife control and better reporting of strikes. 

 

It is important to stress: the total number of strikes at an airport is not a good indicator of risk.  Examination of strike data by species involved is essential.  Do this as part of a formal risk assessment (see paragraph 2.7).

 

2.6.4   Wildlife remains identification

Wildlife strike statistics cannot be properly interpreted without knowing the species struck.  The risk assessment depends on knowledge of the species of wildlife struck to assess the likely severity of impacts.  The airport’s wildlife management program could target the wrong species if the records of what species are being struck are not accurate.  Wildlife remains recovered following strikes are often fragmentary, but even the smallest feather fragments may be identifiable.  Blood smears can be identified to species using DNA analysis.  Refer to the most recent version of FAA AC150/5200-32, Reporting wildlife aircraft strikes, for information on sending strike remains to the Smithsonian Institution for identification.  Usually, there is no charge for this service.  Airport wildlife control specialists should ensure that all wildlife remains are identified as completely as possible.

 

2.6.5   Data required in a wildlife strike report

The more information recorded about a wildlife strike the better.  To the extent possible, collect the data asked for on the ICAO wildlife strike reporting form.  The FAA, Transport Canada, and the Mexican Aviation Authority have developed their own reporting forms modeled on the ICAO form.  Collect as much information as possible.  Some data items may not be available (such as the altitude of strike).  Give due consideration to missing data during later analyses.

 

2.6.6   Submission to ICAO

Although not a matter directly for individual airports, Federal regulators should collate wildlife strike data nationally and send it to ICAO.  This helps in assessing the true levels of wildlife strike risk and its costs to the civil aviation industry.

 

Best management practice 10 – Airport Managers and Airport Wildlife Control Specialists: 

Set up procedures to ensure all wildlife strikes occurring on or near the airport are reported.

·        Do not use the total number of wildlife strikes as a measure of risk or the performance of the wildlife control measures at an airport.

·        Ensure the identification of all species involved in wildlife strikes is as complete as possible.

·        Record all wildlife strikes and include, to the extent possible, the data required for the appropriate reporting form.

·        Send all strike reports to the FAA.

The FAA will collate all wildlife strike data and send it to ICAO yearly.

2.7     Risk Assessment

Formal risk assessment is routinely used in almost all areas of health and safety work.  Wildlife strike prevention has lagged behind in this field.  Wildlife behavior, a key part of the system being assessed, makes it difficult to accurately predict risk levels.  Techniques are now available that use the frequency of a species being struck, the amount of time that a species is present in the strike zone, and the probability of aircraft damage for that species to calculate risk levels for a particular airport (see Allan 2001).  This allows development of risk assessment matrices that can be updated yearly to evaluate changes in the risk level in response to the wildlife management measures in place.

 

Best management practice 11 – Airport Managers and Airport Wildlife Control Specialists:

Conduct a formal risk assessment of the wildlife strike situation. 

  • Use the results to help target wildlife management actions and to monitor their effectiveness. 
  • Update the risk assessments at least yearly.

 

2.8     Conclusions

These best management practices present a consensus from leading experts in wildlife aircraft strike prevention.  They provide a foundation for effective airport hazardous wildlife control programs.  In the future, BSC‑USA will develop and publish more Best Management Practices papers dealing with other aspects of the problem.

 

These best management practices are provided in good faith, and every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate.  BSC-USA, the author, and the BSC-USA membership accept no responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use or implementation of these guidelines.

 

 

 


 

3.      References

 

ACI. 2005. Aerodrome wildlife hazard prevention and wildlife management handbook. 1st ed.  Airports Council International, Geneva, Switzerland. 50 pages.

 

Allan, J.  2001.  The use of risk assessment in airport bird control.  Pages 232-241 in Bird Strike 2001, Proceedings of the Bird Strike Committee USA/Canada meeting. Transport Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

CAA.  1998.  CAP 680 Wildlife Control on Aerodromes.  Civil Aviation Authority, London, UK. (http://www.caa.co.uk/).

 

Transport Canada.  2001.  Sharing the Skies. TP 13549E. Transport Canada, Ottawa, Canada. (http://www.tc.gc.ca/).

 

Cleary, E. C. and R. A. Dolbeer.  2005.  Wildlife hazard management at airports, a manual for airport operators.  2nd ed.  Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Airport Safety and Standards, Washington, DC, USA.  348 pages. (http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/).

 

Cleary, E. C., S. E. Wright, and R. A. Dolbeer.  2006.  Wildlife strikes to civilian aircraft in the United States, 1990–2005.  Serial Report Number 12. DOT/FAA/AAS/00-1.  Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Airport Safety and Standards, Washington, DC, USA. 64 pages. (http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/).

 

Dolbeer, R. A., S. E. Wright, and P. Eschenfelder. 2005. Animal ambush at the airport: the need to broaden ICAO standards for bird strikes to include terrestrial wildlife.  Pages 102-113 in Proceedings of the International Bird Strike Committee meeting 27 (Volume 1). Athens, Greece. (http://www.int-birdstrike.org/)

 


 

 

 

 

This page intentionally left blank

 

 

 


 

4.      Summary of BSC-USA Best Management Practices for Airport Wildlife Control

 

BSC-USA believes these best management practices should apply to all airports certificated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, part 139 to serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier operations.

 

Best management practice 1 – Airport Managers:

Assign a senior airport management staff member responsibility for carrying out all parts of the wildlife control program.

 

Best management practice 2 – Airport Managers:

Take part in local planning and land use decisions for proposed land development or land use changes within 5 miles of the airport that could attract hazardous wildlife.

 

Best management practice 3 – Airport Managers:

Conduct a wildlife hazard assessment to identify land use practices and geographic features on and near the airport attractive to hazardous wildlife.

  • Get support from a qualified wildlife damage management biologist as needed.  (see the most recent version of FAA AC 150/5200-36, Qualifications for wildlife biologist conducting wildlife hazard assessments and training curriculums for airport personnel involved in controlling wildlife hazards on airports).
  • Identify the precise nature of the attractant (such as food, water, or cover).

 

Best management practice 4 – Airport Managers:

Using the wildlife hazard assessment as a basis, develop a wildlife hazard management plan (WHMP) that addresses all issues identified during the assessment.

  • Integrate all four basic control strategies into the WHMP to the extent possible. 
  • Keep detailed records of the plan’s development, implementation, and results.

 

Best management practice 5 – Airport Managers:

Have properly trained and equipped wildlife control specialists present on the airport at least 15 minutes before any air carrier aircraft movement. 

  • Have wildlife control specialists present on the airport throughout daylight hours if aircraft movements occur at intervals of less than 15 minutes. 
  • At night, when conditions warrant, have wildlife control specialists check runways and taxiways for wildlife regularly and take control actions as needed. 
  • Do not require wildlife control specialists to undertake other duties immediately prior to or while aircraft movements are occurring.    
  • For airports with few aircraft movements, 15 minutes may not be long enough to disperse all hazardous wildlife from the vicinity of the runway.  In this case, deploy the control specialists far enough in advance of aircraft movements to allow full dispersal of any hazardous wildlife. 

 

Best management practice 6 – Airport Managers:

Develop a system that ensures rapid flow of information about wildlife hazards among all airport departments.  An airport wildlife hazard working group is a good way of doing this. The working group should include a representative from each of the key groups and agencies that have a significant involvement or interest in wildlife issues on the airport.

 

Best management practice 7 – Airport Managers:

Provide airport wildlife control specialists with control equipment suitable to the wildlife species faced, the numbers of wildlife present, and the area to be controlled. 

  • Provide the wildlife control specialists with proper training in the use of wildlife control devices.
  • Provide suitable devices for removal of wildlife, such as firearms or traps, or the means of calling on expert support to supply these techniques at short notice.
  • Keep records of all training provided.

 

Best management practice 8 – Airport Wildlife Control Specialists:

Record the following at least every 30 minutes.  If air traffic is so infrequent that wildlife patrols are more than 30 minutes apart, make an entry for each patrol carried out.

  • Areas of the airport patrolled;
  • Numbers, location, and species of wildlife seen;
  • Action taken to disperse the wildlife;
  • Results of the action; and
  • General information such as the name of the wildlife control specialists on duty, time on and off duty, and weather at the start of a duty period.

 

Best management practice 9 – Airport and Air Carrier Personnel:

There are three categories of wildlife incidents:

1.   Confirmed strikes:

·        Any reported collision between wildlife and an aircraft for which evidence in the form of carcass remains or damage to the aircraft is found.

·        Any wildlife found dead on an airport where there is no other obvious cause of death.

2    Unconfirmed strikes:

·        Any reported collision between wildlife and an aircraft for which no physical evidence is found.

3    Serious incidents:

·        Incidents where the presence of wildlife on or around the airport had a negative effect on a flight; even if there was no contact between the aircraft and wildlife.

 


Best management practice 10 – Airport Managers and Airport Wildlife Control Specialists: 

Set up procedures to ensure the reporting of all wildlife strikes occurring on or near the airport.

·        Do not use the total number of wildlife strikes as a measure of risk or the performance of the wildlife control measures at an airport.

·        Ensure the identification of all species involved in wildlife strikes is as complete as possible.

·        Record all wildlife strikes and include, to the extent possible, the data required for the appropriate reporting form.

·        Send all strike reports to the FAA

The FAA will collate all wildlife strike data and send it to ICAO yearly.

 

Best management practice 11 – Airport Managers and Airport Wildlife Control Specialists:

Conduct a formal risk assessment of the wildlife strike situation. 

  • Use the results to help target wildlife management actions and to monitor their effectiveness. 
  • Update the risk assessments at least yearly.

 


 

 

 

 

This page intentionally left blank

 



[1] Warsaw, Poland, May 2003.

[2] Athens, Greece, May 2005.

[3] St. Louis, Missouri, USA, August 2006.

[4] Amendment 5 to Annex 14, Volume 1, Chapter 9, § 9.4 Bird Hazard Reduction.

[5] The FAA recommends a 5,000-foot separation distance between known hazardous wildlife attractants and any aircraft movement area for airports that serve primarily piston powered aircraft; a 10,000-foot separation distance is recommended between known hazardous wildlife attractants and any aircraft movement area for airports that serve turban powered aircraft. A 5-mile separation distance is recommended if the hazardous wildlife attractant may cause hazardous wildlife to move across the airport. (see the most recent version of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-33, Hazardous wildlife attractants on or near airports)   

[6] For the purpose of wildlife strike reporting, the FAA defines “on or near the airport” to mean strikes occurring within 5 miles of the airport and under 4,000 ft AGL.