Do not blame birds for plane collisions

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The recent near collision of two passenger jets over New York City is once again proof that there are more near-collisions between planes due to pilot and control tower error.

So why were authorities culling Canada geese and goslings? It is outrageous that these birds are being rounded up and killed because they might possibly cause a collision with an airliner.

Yes, passenger and flight crew safety is a top priority, but it does not justify killing birds at all. There must be a more humane way to reduce possible collisions between birds and planes.

Animal organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals need to work together with airport officials to come up with ways to reduce this problem.

One thing I could never understand was why the Port Authority built an airport near federally protected wetlands where thousands of birds and other wildlife live. That never should have been done.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Posted 8:16 pm, July 3, 2013
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Reader feedback

MarionA from Manhattan says:
There is NO SCIENCE behind the USDA's killing of geese in the 'name of air safety'. Nobody does this except the USDA. It's insanity. The proof is they never provide any stats....they know as soon as they say they are 'keeping planes safe' and geese are a 'threat' people will stop thinking. That is how propaganda works. Effective birdstrike hazard programs show real results:

Israel's Birdstrike Control Program was instituted at Hurlbert Airport in Florida and resulted in a 100% REDUCTION OF LETHAL WILDLIFE CONTROL and huge reduction in costs related to birdstrikes; it resulted in an unimaginable decrease in costs due to birdstrikes in Israel from over 10 million a year to 82,000 a year. IF the USDA's killing program was achieving anything they would be have some stats to show and they NEVER do.


More than 500 million birds cross Israel's narrow airspace… twice every year. Many of these birds overnight at or near IAF airbases where some stay days, and even months, to “refuel” before continuing their long migration.

Prior to BCP’s involvement with the IAF, average annual damage to IAF aircraft due to birds at the Israeli airbases was roughly US $10.3 million/year. SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BCP’S WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOLS AND GUIDELINES MORE THAN 9 YEARS AGO, THE IAF HAS ONLY SUFFERED A TOTAL OF US $82,000 IN DAMAGE combined for all major airbases that have implemented the program (or roughly US $8,400/year).



Accomplishments and reductions in costs as a result of the wildlife control services provided by BCP’s program at Hurlburt Airfield have been dramatic and resulted in being recognized in a variety of awards and acknowledgements of performance. They include:

90% reduction in repair cost for bird strikes; 95% reduction in repair costs due to damaging wildlife strikes at Hurlburt Airfield. Note: Three FY06 damaging bird strikes occurred away from Hurlburt Field over low-level training routes; 80% reduction in pyrotechnic usage; 100% REDUCTION IN NECESSITY FOR LETHAL CONTROL MEASURES (LCM)

Bird Strike Committee USA/ Bird Strike Committee Canada
9th Annual Joint Meeting September 10 - 13, 2007

As a result of its efforts, Hurlburt Field was awarded the prestigious U.S. Air Force’s General Thomas D. White Natural Resources Conservation Award, with the BASH (Bird Avoidance Strike Hazard) program playing a prominent role in garnering the award.

Despite the conventional opinion of the air safety community that effective wildlife control cannot be achieved without lethal control and massive habitat destruction, HURLBURT FIELD HAS DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED SAFETY THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PURELY NON-LETHAL METHODS AND WITH MINIMAL IMPACT TO ITS LOCAL ENVIRONMENT.

Dr. Carter has been actively involved in the wildlife management community for the past 21 years and directly involved in wildlife management programs at airports and airfields around the world for the past 10 years. Dr. Carter has personally developed the Wildlife
Management Hazard Plans (WMHP) and wildlife management program for the entire Israeli Air Force at all major airbases inthe country and was responsible for the development of the bird avoidance strike hazard (BASH) programs for the US Air Forceat Dover Air Force Base (Dover, Delaware)and Hurlburt Field Special Operations Wing(Ft. Walton Beach, Florida).

Dr. Carter was also a key consultant for the development ofthe wildlife management program at August Regional Airport (Augusta, Georgia). Dr.Carter also implemented wildlife control utilizing Border collies to actively harasswildlife in existing management programs at Vancouver International Airport(Vancouver, Canada), Cold Lake Air ForceBase (Cold Lake, Canada), and SouthwestFlorida International Airport (Ft. Myers, Florida).
July 7, 2013, 11:59 am
MarionA from Manhattan says:
JFK is not the only airport in the world situated in a bad place....Vancouver International Airport, YVR, in Vancouver, BC, Canada is as bad or worse and is on the Pacific Flyway. They do not round up geese from Reifel Bird Sanctuary or round up any of the city's many permanent resident Canada geese in the parks. YVR has one of the best wildlife hazard management teams in the world. I checked JFK's goose strikes in the FAA data base....there have been about 5 in the last 6 years and most occurred in the migratory season.

"Let’s be honest,” says Dave Ball, who supervises the Vancouver airport’s million-dollar wildlife management program. “This is the worst place they could have built an airport.”

We’re standing at the southeastern edge of the YVR complex, on the western flank of the Fraser River delta, and we’re talking birds. The delta that accommodates the airport has the highest density of wintering waterfowl and migrating shorebirds in British Columbia. YVR is unique among Canadian airports in that the number of avian visitors actually skyrockets in the winter, thanks to our mild climate. To keep them away from our aircraft, Ball and his team pestered more than 200,000 birds last January. All told, two million birds—over three times the human population of Vancouver—were chased off the airfield in 2006. "
July 7, 2013, 12:06 pm

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