Date of this Version
Identifying and addressing land uses on or near airports that attract wildlife hazardous to aviation, such as refuse and water management facilities, is an important component of an integrated approach to reduce wildlife-aircraft collisions. Similar to most airports, Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) has recently been involved with construction of on-airfield stormwater management structures. In addition, Snohomish County built a new trash-transfer facility on airport property during 2002-2003. The airport, USDA Wildlife Services, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided considerable input into the design and landscaping around the transfer facility and in the redesign of a stormwater detention pond/wetland to minimize their attractiveness to hazardous wildlife. The number of blackbirds, American crows, and songbirds using the transfer station and site after the facility opened (during 2004) was reduced by 96%, 7%, and 63%, respectively, compared to when the site was an undeveloped grass field (during 2001). The 5.1-ha on-airfield water detention structure was heavily utilized by waterfowl prior to modification. In fall 2001, the stormwater pond/wetland was re-graded, a manually controlled spill valve was added to the existing outflow channel, and approximately 32,500 woody plants (e.g., willow) were planted within pond. During 2004, red-winged blackbird use was 30% higher, whereas duck and Canada goose use was 96% and 84% lower, respectively, than during 2001 (prior to the habitat modifications). Management efforts to reduce the attractiveness of these two on-airfield attractants appeared to be effective at Paine Field.