Roughly two dozen protesters stood outside the gates of Teterboro Airport on Sunday to oppose its policy of trapping and killing wild birds that are viewed as a threat to the safety of air traffic.
Waving signs reading "TOLL $ = BLOOD $" and "PORT AUTHORITY INHUMANE," the protesters said they hoped the airport would develop non-lethal solutions to the enduring problem of bird-airplane collisions in busy metropolitan airspace.
"There must be a better alternative, or else it’s an endless fight against nature," said William Roberts, a faculty member at Fairleigh Dickinson University and an animal rights activist. "Where would it stop?"
The Port Authority, which oversees Teterboro and other regional airports, has for years worked to mitigate wildlife threats to airplane traffic. Controls nationwide have increased since the January 2009 "Miracle on the Hudson" — when a plane taking off from La Guardia Airport carrying 150 passengers was disabled by Canada geese and made an emergency landing in the river.
Teterboro is a particularly complicated case: The busy airport sits on 827 acres of the Meadowlands, an ecosystem that is home to many bird species now considered "hazardous" to airplane activity. A third of the airport has been designated as federally regulated wetlands.
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