Date of this Version
The international aviation community recognizes the high human and economic costs associated with bird strikes. Hundreds of lives and millions of dollars have been lost in recent years because of this problem. Notably, aviation experts in North America recognize the importance and availability of potential solutions for this problem. Several models and systems such and the USAF’s Bird Avoidance Model (BAM) and the Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS) as well as the technological development of advanced radar and communications systems have made great progress in addressing the problem of bird strikes. However, many have argued that further and much greater advancement could be made if the current fragmented and competitive efforts could be consolidated in a single cooperative venture.
This strategic plan is the initial step in a process of consolidating and integrating the various United States and Canadian civil and military efforts in order to develop and implement North American Bird Strike Advisory System. The plan has been developed based on the collected wisdom and technical knowledge of the top personnel and organizations in the field of aviation safety. If implemented, the plan will represent a critical first step leading to the realization of a North American Bird Strike Advisory System that will help protect aviators and their equipment from the deadly and costly effects of bird hazards.
The plan outlines the architecture of a notional bird strike advisory system for North America. It identifies the key agencies that must be involved in the development of the system. It establishes a top level schedule and identifies six key goals in developing an integrated system. The plan describes more detailed objectives and activities required to accomplish these goals. Recommendations are made regarding which agencies might most effectively take the lead in integrating various activities needed to accomplish each goal. It proposes a 5 year budget of approximately $16,000,000 in order to support the initial phases of the effort. The strategic plan and its appendices also outline in considerable detail the key technical challenges, risks, and suggested organizational and technological solutions for these problems.
While reviewing this strategic plan, it’s important to remember that it is not a detailed blueprint for developing and implementing the final system. Rather, it is a starting point for an evolving project and system that can be continuously developed and improved as technology and organizational systems become more advanced. The relatively modest budget proposed is essentially a “down payment” for the more robust system that will evolve based on this initial consolidation and integration effort. The plan represents an important first step in moving beyond fragmented competitive approaches to consolidated and integrated system that will save hundreds of lives and prevent a great deal of economic loss associated with destroyed or damaged aircraft and equipment.
The plan highlights the many advantages of an integrated and consolidated bird strike advisory system. One such advantage is the improvement in the accuracy and fidelity of bird avoidance information to users in the aviation community. Another advantage of the proposed system is the synergistic use of data from new and existing radar and other systems to enhance reporting on bird activity without compromising the current effectiveness of those systems. Throughout the plan, the development of a robust communications infrastructure and network is described to enhance the timeliness and scope of bird advisory information delivery.