Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Bird strikes to aircraft are of increasing concern to the aviation community (BSCE 1990). One factor contributing to strikes is that gulls and other bird species often flock to temporary pools of fresh water at airports after heavy rains (Blokpoel 1976). Another factor is the location of waste disposal facilities near airports which gulls and other bird species use as a food source (Burger and Gochfeld 1983, Greig et al. 1986). The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued Order 5200.5 in 1974 to prohibit waste disposal sites within 10,000 ft (3,000 m) of runways used by turbine-powered aircraft. This order was revised in 1990 (Order 5200.SA) to include landfills from 10,000 feet to 5 miles (8 km) of runways "that attract or sustain hazardous bird movements from feeding, water or roosting areas into, or across the runways and/or the approach and departure patterns of aircraft". Thus, airport and landfill operators have incentives to eliminate standing water and putrescible waste on and near airports. If elimination is not possible, management actions should be taken to reduce the attractiveness of these sites to birds.