Sunday, August 05, 2012

Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT), North Carolina: Airport works to control bird strikes


FAA data shows that birds have hit planes taking off and landing at Charlotte Douglas dozens of times already this year.

The airport told Eyewitness News it's making new strides this year to control the problem.

"It is always a daily fight. We are always looking for birds that are on the airfield, around the airfield," said Deputy Director Jack Christine.

Summer is the busiest time of the year for bird strikes. Earlier this month, a bird caused terrifying damage to the nose of a plane at Denver's airport, but thankfully no one was injured.

As Charlotte Douglas grows in size and popularity so does the number of dangerous bird strikes. The FAA reported there were 140 bird strikes at the airport last year.

"The last time I got on a plane I saw a bird flying around, I got a little nervous," said passenger Jonathan Dorian.

There have been 24 bird strikes so far this year according to the FAA. That's a 40 percent decrease compared to same time frame last year.

Of the 24 confirmed bird strikes this year at Charlotte Douglas, the FAA said only one caused serious damage to the plane.

In February, the airport hired five new landscaping companies to do a better job of keeping the grass short. The airport is paying those companies $27,000 a month.

Five erosion control ponds have also been closed within the last year. Those ponds were needed for construction projects, but the standing water attracted birds.

"Reducing the amount of open water reduces the attractiveness of the area to birds," said Christine.

A lot of the decrease is due to old-fashioned patrolling and old-fashioned scare tactics, like having airport workers honk their horns as they patrol the perimeter.

If that doesn't work, airport operations crews use noise guns to disperse groups of birds.

Story and video:

No comments:

Post a Comment