Sunday, November 03, 2013

Wildlife hazard assessment to take place at Telluride Regional Airport (KTEX), Colorado

As part of a new set of regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the Telluride Regional Airport will be hiring a consultant to do a wildlife assessment of the airport.

The assessment is required at all public use airports, and the FAA has offered grants for the work to be done. TEX has been awarded a $125,000 FAA grant and the airport is looking to hire a consultant biologist to do the work. The project is expected to take about a year to complete once a consultant has been chosen. TEX could use the assessment to create a wildlife management plan.

TEX is classified as a public use airport, and according to an FAA advisory, the information will help identify any wildlife hazards.

Richard Nuttall, airport manager at TEX, said there haven’t been any big issues with wildlife at TEX in the past due in part to a wildlife fence. But he added that he would have to wait and see what comes back from the biologist.

“It’s a requirement that some airports have to do,” Nuttall said. “And so they gave a grant for that, and we’ll be going out to consult a biologist to do the assessment. It’s completed over a 12-month period, and they’ll give us a report on anything that we need to do, or not do.”

To pick the consultant, Nuttall said a request for proposals would go out. Once bids come in from contractors, TEX will select someone based on their qualifications and fees.

The FAA advisement cites numerous other FAA reports and sources which detail how airports can better deal with wildlife. Some of the sources explain how airports should report wildlife running into aircraft or how they should identify dangerous wildlife attractions near airports.   

The advisement states that wildlife biologists selected to conduct the hazard assessments or training based on wildlife management plans need to have professional training and relevant experience. Biologists need to have the appropriate education and they need to be able to instruct airport employees on how to carry out any wildlife plans that are implemented.

If a wildlife management plan were implemented at TEX, airport staff would need to review their training on an annual basis. However, the plan itself would depend on the environment at TEX and any wildlife issues that might be discovered.


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