Aviation bird strike prevention experts to gather in Milwaukee

Posted: 5 August 2013 | AAAE | No comments yet

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

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Leading international wildlife experts, airport operations professionals, regulators, and other aviation industry representatives will gather August 12-15 in Milwaukee at the 2013 Bird Strike North America Conference to discuss the latest advances in keeping wildlife away from aircraft.

The meeting, produced by Bird Strike Committee USA/Bird Strike Association of Canada and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and hosted by General Mitchell International Airport, is designed to share the latest information, best practices and training to help airports and operators mitigate the risks posed by the combination of aircraft and wildlife. Delegates will hear from experts representing all stakeholders, including wildlife biologists, airport operations executives, pilots, regulators, and suppliers of tools and systems designed to mitigate wildlife strike risks.

“Airport operators have a responsibility to ensure that all appropriate actions are taken to mitigate the potential for bird and wildlife strikes at their facilities,” said John Ostrom, manager of Airside Operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and chair of Bird Strike Committee USA. “This meeting – and the training, education and information exchange it provides – is one of the ways Bird Strike Committee USA and /Bird Strike Association of Canada help airports meet this responsibility.”

Wildlife strikes have been a major concern in aviation for decades. In 2012, the U.S. civil aviation industry reported more than 10,700 wildlife strikes, most of them involving birds. Strikes cost the industry an estimated $743 million per year in damaged aircraft, irregular operations and other consequences. The problem impacts the military as well. In 2012, U.S. Air Force aircraft were involved in more than 4,000 wildlife strikes.

The keynote address will be delivered by Mont Smith, the former Director of Safety for Airlines for America and a former military and commercial aviation pilot. Mont has a long interest in the impact of wildlife strikes on aviation safety and was instrumental in recent efforts involving the Commercial Aviation Safety Team decision to more intensively monitor the wildlife strike issue.

The four-day meeting includes one day of hands-on wildlife mitigation training (limited to 150 participants) and three days of technical sessions and case studies designed to help share the latest techniques, data, and general information on bird strike mitigation. Technical sessions will focus on key aspects of wildlife mitigation with an emphasis on bird strike prevention. Topics will cover regulations and general planning, as well as specific programs and advanced techniques being applied. Among the presentations:

  • An industry/government panel will explore the current and future direction of wildlife strike issues in North America;
  • Presentations concerning wildlife population levels and how to calculate the risk wildlife pose at airports;
  • Panel discussions chaired by industry representatives will discuss aspects of lethal control at airports and the effective use and application of bird detecting radar data; and
  • Representatives from the Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan will discuss the current management strategies in Japan.

The meeting also includes an exhibit hall area, where more than a dozen leading suppliers of wildlife mitigation equipment and systems will be on hand to discuss their products and services.

The event also will feature the results of a poster contest in which entrants are asked to submit works with the theme, “Airport Wildlife Management and Safety.” The winning posters will be reproduced and distributed throughout the industry by Bird Strike Committee USA as part of wildlife mitigation education efforts.

Bird Strike 2013 is a must-attend event for military and civilian personnel responsible for airfield operations, wildlife and wetland resource managers, land-use planners, FAA inspectors, university researchers, engineers, pilots, aviation representatives, waste management operators and anyone interested in mitigating wildlife strikes.

Information on the meeting, including online registration, an updated agenda, and more, is available online.

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