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Birdstrikes - Articles and news items

Airport Wildlife Management: Mitigating wildlife hazards

Issue 3 2016  •  24 May 2016  •  Anastasios Anagnostopoulos, Head of Wildlife and Landscaping in the Environmental Services Department at Athens International Airport S.A.

Anastasios Anagnostopoulos, Head of Wildlife and Landscaping in the Environmental Services Department at Athens International Airport S.A., explains how birdstrikes and wildlife hazard control can be integrated into an airport’s safety management system...

Avian Safe awarded international contracts for airport wildlife consultancy

Airport news  •  22 October 2015  •  Avian Safe

Avian Safe has been awarded the contract for Wildlife Hazard Assessment for the Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston, Jamaica...

FAA reveals increase in wildlife strike reporting

Airport news  •  6 August 2015  •  Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

According to a report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), wildlife strike reporting for both commercial and general aviation airports continues to rise.

Preventing the next ‘Miracle on the Hudson’

Airport Extra  •  26 January 2015  •  Dr Nicholas B Carter, World Birdstrike Association

Six years after the miraculous ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, Dr Nicholas Carter of the World Birdstrike Association explains how Pharovision and New York’s LaGuardia Airport are trialling a new avian infrared detection system...

Implementing SMS in airports: Wildlife Management as an exemplar

Issue 6 2014  •  8 December 2014  •  Dr Nicholas B Carter, World Birdstrike Organisation

When birdstrikes occur the consequences can be disastrous. Dr Nicholas Carter of the World Birdstrike Association explains how an effective safety management system can help mitigate wildlife hazards.On 15 January 2009, the world learned the importance of airport wildlife management when the public at large, and many airports worldwide, discovered that an impact with a single flock of birds can result in catastrophic consequences. The crash of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 clearly demonstrated that birds can and do pose a significant hazard to aviation and significant steps must be taken in order to mitigate the risk of a far more serious incident. Though the ultimate outcome of Flight 1549 was without the loss of life or serious injury, this was only through the confluence of exceptional piloting skills and exceedingly fortunate circumstances. If the birdstrike had occurred 60 seconds earlier, a wide and straight river near a large contingency of available resources hadn’t been available or indeed a less experienced team of pilots had been in control of that aircraft, the results could have been remarkably different.As ICAO implements SMS (Safety Management Systems) requirements for all international airports with its amended Annex 14, and the FAA moves to a more formally delineated requirement to implement SMS at Part 139 airports, airports now face the need to develop fully-fledged SMS programmes. As an integral part of an airfield’s SMS, bird/wildlife management will also need to be incorporated into the SMS plan. With a dearth of literature on SMS and wildlife management and without an abundance of long-term experience for wildlife management/SMS integration, airports will not have a ready resource from which to draw and will face the difficulty of instituting programmes they may not be fully prepared to undertake. However, examination of the implementation of a wildlife management programme into a SMS plan or the creation of a SMS plan from scratch can help illustrate the features of an exceptional overall SMS programme, as well as point out the problems associated with moving to a more formalised safety programme under the guise of SMS.

Aviation bird strike prevention experts to gather in Milwaukee

Airport news  •  5 August 2013  •  AAAE

2013 Bird Strike North America Conference, 12-15 August, Milwaukee...

Nepal air crash – bird strike may be cause

Airport news  •  28 September 2012  •  Institution of Mechanical Engineers

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has responded to suggestions that the Nepal air crash may have been caused by bird strike...

FAA conducts outreach for general aviation airports

Airport news  •  8 November 2011  •  FAA

The FAA recently launched a wildlife poster outreach campaign for the general aviation (GA) community...

The industry’s greatest threat?

Issue 5 2011  •  5 October 2011  •  Andy Baxter, Bird Management Unit, the UK Food and Environment Agency (FERA)

Flight 1549, ‘The miracle on the Hudson’ brought the risks aircraft face from birdstrikes to a worldwide audience. For those involved in managing this risk, it merely re-confirmed the potentially catastrophic consequences such events can have.Birdstrikes are not an uncommon feature of air travel. Thousands of events occur around the world each year with the vast majority having little or no impact upon a flight. Managing the risks from events that do have the potential to cause damage, however, requires an understanding of how birds behave, what it is that attracts birds to a given environment, and what techniques and measures can be deployed to reduce the likelihood of a strike? Risk assessment therefore becomes the key driver for determining how and where management resources should be best deployed.Whilst this process had lagged behind many other areas of the aviation industry, there are now very well accepted methods used for identifying birdstrike risks. Wherever possible, recording the type of bird involved in a strike is critical to this process. Modern techniques mean there is now virtually no reason for not being able to identify the species of bird involved in a strike.

Keeping birds in hand

Issue 6 2010  •  13 December 2010  •  Nick Yearwood, Chairman of the UK Birdstrike Committee and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Safety Regulation Group Representative

Modern aircraft engines are designed and built to be resistant to multiple birdstrikes from birds of up to 4.5lb (2kg) in weight. The UK CAA has played a leading role in developing enhanced engine certification requirements and United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)...

The birdstrike risk

Issue 4 2009, Past issues  •  16 July 2009  •  Ray Elgy, Head of Aerodrome Standards, UK CAA

From the beginning of aviation history, aircraft have faced the hazard posed by birdstrikes. The first known birdstrike occurred in 19051, from the Wright Brothers diaries, "Orville ... flew 4,751 metres in 4 minutes 45 seconds, four complete circles. Twice passed over fence into Beard's cornfield. Chased flock of birds for two rounds and killed one which fell on top of the upper surface and after a time fell off when swinging a sharp curve." This was the first reported bird-aircraft strike.

When it comes to birdstrikes, we don’t need to rely on miracles

Issue 2 2009, Past issues  •  31 March 2009  •  Dr John Allan, Chairman, International Bird Strike Committee

Following the recent events in New York, Dr John Allan, Chairman of the International Bird Strike Committee, looks at the current risk from birdstrikes and what can be done to control it.

Avian radar systems

Issue 6 2007, Past issues  •  30 November 2007  •  Edwin E. Herricks, Center of Excellence in Airport Technology and Gerry Key, Computer Sciences Corporation

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Thompson 253! – Thus begins the audio following a slow motion video of a bird/aircraft collision. The mayday is called as flames shoot from the left engine of a Thompson Boeing 757. This bird strike on takeoff rivets our attention for over 6 minutes as the professionalism of pilots and controllers is documented in a safe, one engine landing. YouTube has again provided us with access to a video record and graphic evidence for the need to prevent bird/aircraft collisions.

Bird strike prevention – SMS challenge and a green signal

Issue 4 2007, Past issues  •  31 July 2007  •  Luit Buurma, Honorary Chairman International Bird Strike Committee

Bird strike prevention is a splendid subject for the appreciation of an airport’s Safety Management System and even indicative for the maturity of its business plan. Airports are open systems by nature and by culture. Birds are free to migrate around the globe but are constrained in their possibilities to stopover at the airport and its periphery. Just as all other habitats, the airport landscape tends to have a settled bird population and access for newcomers is regulated by behavioural rules; just like landing airplanes when guided in by air traffic control. The capacities of ecosystems and airports provide keys for the management to control natural and human risk factors. Bird strikes may escalate dramatically where these two factors interfere unforeseen. Technologies to monitor and predict risks and to support decision making are developing fast.

Managing the risks of bird strikes

Issue 2 2007, Past issues  •  3 April 2007  •  Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Chairperson, Bird Strike Committee USA

When making a list of the activities that an airport manager must oversee, most people would never consider a program to manage birds and other wildlife. However, aircraft collisions with birds (bird strikes) at airports are an increasing economic and safety problem for the air transport industry worldwide. Based on a recent analysis of economic data by Dr. John Allan of the UK’s Central Science Laboratory, bird strikes are costing the worldwide air transport industry over $1.2 billion (USD) every year. Economics are not the only concern. Over 200 people died as a result of bird strikes with civil and military aircraft from 1988-2006. And birds are not the only problem. A recent survey by the author uncovered over 630 damaging strikes to aircraft involving terrestrial wildlife (e.g., deer, wild dogs) in 22 countries. In the USA alone, 17 civil aircraft have been destroyed by collisions with deer since 1983.


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