Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


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Presented at 2011 Bird Strike North America Conference, September 12-15, 2011, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.


Copyright 2011 Dolbeer & Begier


Question: How do we evaluate programs to mitigate risk of wildlife strikes at USA airports?

Answer: Current system is regulatory-driven under 14 CFR Part 139:

•If airport has Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP) acceptable to the FAA, the airport is in compliance.

•WHMP is reviewed annually for completion of targeted projects (e.g., drainage improvement).

•However, there are no objective procedures to evaluate effectiveness of the WHMP and to guide improvements.

Airport managers naturally want to know:

•How does our program compare to other airports?

•How good is our WHMP—are we getting good value (risk mitigation) for money invested?

•Are our priorities correct (are we directing sufficient efforts at the wildlife species posing highest risk)?

At present, the FAA has no objective process in place to provide answers!!

Is there a solution to this dilemma?

We propose that the National Wildlife Strike Database can play a key role to:

•provide objective benchmark of airport’s performance in mitigating risk compared to other airports. •prioritize wildlife risks in the context of SMS. Risk = hazard level of species x probability of strike

Without the database, we must base decisions upon subjective (non-quantitative) opinion!

Knowledge = Power

What is an objective benchmark of an airport’s performance in mitigating risk?

Comparison of the reported strike rate at an airport in relation to rates at other airports is not a valid metric because airports may vary in:

•hazard level of species struck (e.g., swallow vs. goose).
•completeness of reporting all strikes (e.g., carcasses found on runway).