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Wildlife Management at Airport19 Jun 2014

Wildlife Management at an airport deals specifically with wildlife that present a hazard for aircraft operations. The critical location where the presence of wildlife represents a serious hazardous to aviation is in and around the runway.

This is due to the speed at which aircrafts travel during take-off and landing. The speed of the aircraft at the time of collision is directly proportionate to the force experience by the aircraft. Higher speeds also mean less chance for wildlife to disperse in time to avoid collision. These are also stages of flight when pilot have little options available to avoid collisions.

As stated in ICAO Annex 14 - Volume 1 Chapter 9, section 9.4.3 “Action shall be taken to decrease the risk to aircraft operations by adopting measures to minimize the likelihood of collisions between wildlife and aircraft.”

At MFM, actions taken to mitigate the risk of wildlife strikes can be divided into two major categories.

Passive methods cover all actions and management technique that aims to making the movement area as unattractive to wildlife as possible. Wildlife is only attracted by food, water and shelter (a place relatively free from predators). The reduction of food source includes monitoring and review of grass management, application of insecticides and herbicide, placement of rat baits and filling of rat holes. Drainage around the runway and paved surfaces are checked for standing waters during regular inspections are reported to E&M. Any nests found are removed as soon as possible and recurring roosting sites are noted and highlighted to all airport operations officers to take Active measures. All airport users should refrain from feed any wildlife found at or near the airport and maintain a high level of hygiene so that waste and waste bins do not become food source attracting wildlife to the airport.

Active methods are actions taken on location whenever wildlife of significant size or flocks of wildlife present a potential hazard to aircraft movements. The presence of airport operations staff in follow-me will disperse most species of birds. For reluctant species or if time is a constraint, those making inspection carrying with them a bird scaring pistol with cartridge that produce not only a small flare like light but also make a great deal of noise. LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), is an audio equipment used to chase away the birds installed on Follow-me 4. Bird controllers have most common bird alarm calls at their disposal, which serve as a warning for the other members of the species to leave the area as soon as possible.

Additional measures to minimize the existence of Wildlife in the Airport are currently been observed and will be consider to put in place.   

Source: ADA Pulse