The bird strike that caused the USAir Flight 1549 emergency landing in the Hudson River in 2009 may seem like an uncommon occurrence, but the truth is that bird strikes and other wildlife hazards pose a major threat to airports. In fact, since the Federal Aviation Authority made the National Wildlife Database public, there have been approximately 21,489 strike reports over the last three years.
In 2009, the FAA initiated a rulemaking making Wildlife Hazard Assessments mandatory for commercial service airports regardless of a triggering event. Late last month, the FAA’s Office of Airports further enforced their commitment to bird strike prevention by initiating a program encouraging General Aviation airports to conduct wildlife hazard assessments. (Read the press release.)
To help fund these mitigation efforts, the FAA will support general aviation efforts by making Airport Improvement Programs grants available to conduct an assessment.
Over the course of the next several months, we’ll posting more information that will on wildlife hazards and wildlife mitigation. Until then, we invite you to download our white paper on the threat that wildlife can have on airport operations, “Exclusionary Wildlife Fencing for Airports: The Link to Secure Runways.”