Date of this Version
Bird strike reporting is becoming increasingly important as airport operators, airlines and government aviation authorities are requesting their staff to report all bird strike occurrences. In South Africa the Endangered Wildlife Trust has been managing an integrated bird and wildlife hazard management program at ten airports managed by the Airports Company South Africa for the past seven years. In an attempt to best understand the bird strike hazard at the various airports a bird strike definition has been adopted which includes the reporting of carcass remain retrieved from the runways through to the more serious incidents where damage was reported to the aircraft. Numerous occurrences have been reported at the airports during this period – several of which only involved carcass remains or strikes with small birds having no effect on the aircraft. In response to requests from both the airport authorities and local airlines a system has been developed to rate bird strike occurrences based on their severity and in so doing provide more meaningful statistical feedback to the airport and airline management. The approach taken involve using factors such as known high risk bird species occurring at the airport, whether or not damage was done to the aircraft etc. to rate all the bird strikes which occurred at the respective airport. This paper will explain in detail the approach taken to rate the severity and risk of bird strike occurrences at airports and in so doing provide more meaningful statistical feedback to decision makers.