U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

Spring 2014


Biondi, K., J.L. Belant, J.A. Martin, T.L. DeVault, and G. Wang. 2014. Integrating mammalian hazards with management at U.S. civil airports: a case study. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(1):31-38.


Wildlife incidents with U.S. civil aircraft cost an estimated $1.4 billion from 1990 to 2010, with mammals 5 times more likely to cause damage than other wildlife. We surveyed 2 general aviation (GA) airports and 6 Part-139 certificated (i.e., certified) airports to assess efficacy of management practices for mammalian species hazardous to aircraft. We obtained information on mammalian species present on airport grounds, types and estimated effectiveness of management techniques, and effort spent on wildlife management. We evaluated management techniques relative to aircraft–wildlife collisions (i.e., incident) frequencies taken from Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) National Wildlife Strike Database and species hazard scores calculated by body mass. Certificated airports spent 5 times more effort and used twice as many techniques as GA airports. Species considered most hazardous by all airports included white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; hazard score = 94) and coyote (Canis latrans; 62). Generally, all airports surveyed are managing effectively for mammals; however, we recommend that airports with deer present install additional exclusion devices. By prioritizing species to manage and targeting management for them, airports can reduce mammalian risks to U.S. civil aircraft.