Airport Management Wildlife

Airport Bird Control – 6 most asked questions and answers

Airport Bird Control is an important issue. Read on to find the most asked questions and answers to them

How Airports keep birds away?

Most airports combine a lot of methods to keep birds away, such as Standing Lasers, Pyrotechnics, Propane Cannons, Visual Effects, Natural Predators (i.e. Falconry), Traps and even adjusting the height of the grass at the airfield.

How does pyrotechnics work at airports to keep birds away?

The key of using pyrotechnics is combining sounds and visual effects to create a stimulus that attracts birds primary instincts. This can be done with a variety of pyrotechnics of varying range, colours, and blasts that can make birds fell that the place is not safe to stay. However, the correct training of bird controllers is also essential. A true specialist knows there is not a “silver bullet” in airport bird control. A complete toolbox and well-trained professionals are needed for a successful Wildlife Control Program.

What is a birdstrike?

It is a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a takeoff or landing roll. The term is often expanded to cover other wildlife strikes.

Airport bird control plans can avoid birdstrike like this one
Damage to an aeroplane product of a birdstrike.

How often a birdstrike happens?

About 61% of bird strikes with civil aircraft occur during landing phases of flight (descent, approach and landing roll); 36% occur during the take-off run and climb, and the remainder (3%) occur during the en-route phase. (FAA Stats).

Why are birds attracted to airports?

Airports are a wide, open space with a full environment. The attractiveness of vegetation is a balance between food presence, food accessibility, and protection against predators.

  Airport Bird Control Grass
Airfield shows short grass to avoid the presence of birds.

How grass height affects the presence of birds?

Vegetation is a balance between food presence, food accessibility, and protection against predators. And these three factors vary a lot for every bird or animal species.

Food accessibility depends on vegetation height and density. Long, dense vegetation will inhibit most hazardous birds/wildlife from moving around, detecting and accessing the food. In addition, birds/wildlife feeding on seeds will avoid the airport if its vegetation is mowed during the flowering season.

On the other hand, many species prefer to stay in the open space of short vegetation where they have a wide view to see predators well in advance to enable them to flee on time; and safeguard themselves from predators by hiding or fleeing.


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