Monday, 1 September 2014

Birdstrike - 'next major challenge in airport wildlife mitigation: addressing threats beyond the airport perimeter'

Damaging strikes are showing an increase outside [the airport] environment”, reports the September 1 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology in an article, Airports Reducing Wildlife Strike Risks: As bird-strike data improves, efforts to boost safety go beyond airports:
While strikes above 500 feet [above ground level] account for only 29% of the total number of reports in the FAA database, they make up 43% of the damaging incidents… “Damaging strikes are showing an increase outside [the airport] environment,” FAA’s Weller says. “Now is the time to do something about that. Airports have to put on sales hats and create partnerships with their neighbours.”
Where outside the airport environment? Specifically, says the attached podcast, “in the 5 mile corridor that aircraft approach and depart”. In other words, exactly where Straitgate Farm sits, 3.7 miles from and directly in line of Exeter Airport’s runway.

Airports across the world are increasingly having to work beyond the airport perimeters at controlling the birdstrike threat to aircraft and human life. Birds pay the price - and are culled in their thousands. Land-use proposals that attract birds directly under takeoff and landing approaches - such as Aggregate Industries' quarry plans at Straitgate which would leave a "priority wetland habitat" - would obviously run counter to these aims. Strict regulations for such proposals are set down in the UK by the CAA. Passengers trust that airports - including Exeter - will do everything within their means to keep them safe.