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


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From Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management, ed. T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, & J.L. Belant (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).


U.S. government work.


An airport is a component of the landscape, contributing to and subject to local- and landscapelevel factors that affect wildlife populations and the hazards that these species pose to aviation (Blackwell et al. 2009, Martin et al. 2011). Water resources at and near an airport, in the form of both surface water and contained runoff, are recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as potential attractants to wildlife that pose hazards to aviation safety (FAA 2007). Surface water, including aboveground stormwater detention/retention facilities (see U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2006), can represent a substantial proportion of the area within siting criteria for U.S. airports. An analysis of water coverage at 49 certificated airports (FAA 2004) revealed that surface water composed on average 6.0% (standard deviation [SD] = 10.4%, range = 0.04-48.3%; B. F. Blackwell, unpublished data) of the area within the 3-km [lo9-mile] FAA siting criteria (X = 275 ha, SD = 511 ha). A recent analysis of bird-aircraft strike data for avian species involved in at least 50 total strikes reported to the FAA (1990-2008; summarized in FAA 2011) revealed that 13 of the 52 species (25%) have foraging and breeding ecologies primarily associated with water (Blackwell et al. 2013). Moreover, these 13 species were responsible for > 51% of damaging strikes (Dolbeer et al. 2000, DeVault et al. 2011) during this period.

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