Airports are one of the busiest places in the world. Every day, millions of people travel by air, and airports must be able to handle the enormous amount of traffic. Because of this, airports around the world are working hard to improve their safety procedures, especially to counter terrorist attacks.
One area of airport security that is often overlooked is bird control. Birds can pose a serious threat to airplanes, and collisions between birds and aircraft have resulted in crashes and fatalities. To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, airport bird control is important.
What Is Airport Bird Control?
Airport bird control is the practice of using various methods to deter birds from entering airport property. This can include anything from loud noises and bright lights to physical barriers and chemical repellents. The goal is to make the area around an airport as unappealing to birds as possible so that they’ll go elsewhere.
Why Is It Important?
While birds may seem harmless, they can cause serious problems for airports. Collisions between birds and aircraft have resulted in crashes and fatalities, so it’s crucial to prevent them whenever possible.
Here are three main reasons why it is important to use birds control in airports:
1. To Avoid Costly Bird Strikes
As any frequent flyer knows, airport delays are a frustrating part of travel. But many people don’t realize that bird strikes are one of the leading causes of these delays.
Every year, bird strikes cause millions of dollars in airplane damage, leading to flight delays and even accidents. It’s estimated that bird strikes cost the aviation industry upwards of $1.2 billion annually.
In what has been called the “Miracle on the Hudson” of 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. This was shortly after takeoff when the plane struck a flock of geese. While all passengers and crew members were evacuated safely from the plane, the accident still serves as an important reminder of how dangerous bird strikes can be.
2. To Keep the Runway Clear
Anyone who has ever driven through a puddle of bird droppings knows that it is not a pleasant experience. In addition to being messy, bird droppings can also be dangerous, as they can lead to slip-and-fall accidents.
A runway that is cluttered with bird droppings is not only unsightly, but it can also be dangerous. By using bird control methods, airports can keep their runways clean and safe.
3. To Protect Travellers from Diseases
Airports are one of the busiest places in the world. Every day, millions of people travel through airports to get to their destinations. With so many people in such a small space, it’s important to take measures to protect travelers from diseases. One way to do this is by using bird control. When birds congregate near airport runways, they can carry harmful bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted to humans. In addition, bird droppings can contaminate food and water supplies, causing food poisoning and other illnesses. Bird control can help protect people from these dangers by ensuring that birds don’t gather near airport runways.
How Do Airports Do It?
Hazing is a method of bird control that involves using loud noises or bright lights to scare birds away from an area. Airports often use pyrotechnics, flares, or propane cannons to haze birds away from runways. The goal of hazing is to startle birds and make them feel uncomfortable without causing them any harm.
Hazing can be an effective method of bird control, but it’s not always foolproof. If birds become accustomed to hazing devices, they may no longer be effective. In addition, hazing may only be effective in the short term; once the hazing stops, the birds may return.
Exclusionary barriers are physical structures that prevent birds from accessing an area. Common exclusionary barriers used at airports include netting, fencing, and water barriers. By excluding birds from an area, there is no need to haze them away because they cannot get near enough to pose a threat in the first place.
The downside of exclusionary barriers is that they can be expensive to implement and maintain. In addition, some exclusionary barriers (such as netting) can actually pose a danger to birds if they become entangled.
Repellents are substances that deter birds from entering an area by making the area less attractive to them. Popular bird repellents include methyl anthranilate (MA), Avitrol, and Naphthalene balls. MA is often used as a temporary measure because it evaporates quickly; Avitrol is poisonous to birds and should only be used as a last resort; Naphthalene balls are considered the most humane option because they do not directly harm birds but simply make the area less appealing to them.
One downside of repellents is that they must be replenished regularly to remain effective. In addition, different repellents work better on different types of birds; so if you have multiple bird species present in your area, you may need to use more than one type of repellent to deter all of them effectively.
No one wants their flight delayed or canceled because of a bird strike. And no one wants to be on a plane that hits a flock of birds! That’s why airport bird control is so important. By deterring birds from entering airport property, we can help keep our skies safe.