The increasing number of bird strikes at airports is causing concern for airline safety, with over 53,000 reported between 1990 and 2010, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration, resulting in over 25 deaths and around 200 injuries. Bird strikes can be caused by poor designs of both airports and aeroplanes, human error, and bird behavior – with some attracted by airport-based nesting, food, and shelter opportunities. Bird strikes can cause significant economic losses and damage to aircraft, with possible loss of human life, such as when a plane carrying 155 passengers and crew was forced to land on the Hudson River after striking a flock of geese.
Rise in Bird Strikes at Airports Spark Concerns for Airline Safety
Air travel has become one of the most common modes of transport in the modern world. With increasing travelling for business, holiday or leisure, air traffic has also increased significantly. However, with the rise of air traffic, the number of bird strikes at airports has also increased tremendously. Bird strikes are a significant threat to aviation safety, and many airlines and airports are concerned about the safety of their passengers, crew, and aircraft.
According to data compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA, over 53,000 bird strikes were reported between 1990 and 2010, resulting in more than 25 deaths and over 200 injuries, as well as causing significant damage to aircraft. This is a clear indication that bird strikes are a significant safety concern for the aviation industry.
Causes of Bird Strikes
There are several causes of bird strikes, including poor airport and aircraft design, human error, and bird behavior. Some bird species fly at high altitudes and are occasionally hit by aircraft, while others are attracted to airport and surrounding areas because of food, nesting, and shelter opportunities. Airports that are built around wetlands or near other bird habitats are at a higher risk of bird strikes, particularly during migration periods.
Impact of Bird Strikes
Bird strikes can have a significant impact on aircraft safety. Some impacts include:
1. Damage to the aircraft: When large birds collide with aircraft, the impact can cause significant damage to the windshield, engines, and other parts of the plane, which can cause the aircraft to lose altitude, become unresponsive, or require an emergency landing.
2. Loss of human life: Bird strikes can lead to loss of human life. In 2009, a plane carrying 155 people struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia airport. The plane lost power on both engines and was forced to land in the Hudson River. Fortunately, all 155 passengers and crew survived.
3. Economic losses: Bird strikes can cause significant economic losses for airlines and airports. The cost of repairing and replacing damaged aircraft can be substantial, while disrupted schedules and flight cancellations can lead to lost revenue for airlines.
Preventing Bird Strikes
Several measures can be implemented to prevent bird strikes and ensure aviation safety. Some of these include:
1. Airport design: Airports can be designed to minimize the risk of bird strikes, such as building bird fencing, netting, or using habitat management practices to reduce bird attractions.
2. Training: Airport and airline personnel should receive training on how to handle bird strikes and how to prevent them.
3. Use of bird repellent: Bird repellents, such as falcons and hawks can be trained to scare birds away from airport runways.
Q.1) What are bird strikes?
Bird strikes occur when birds collide with moving aircraft.
Q.2) How can bird strikes be prevented?
Bird strikes can be prevented through airport design, training, and the use of bird repellents.
Q.3) What are the impacts of bird strikes?
Bird strikes can lead to significant economic losses, damage to aircraft, and loss of human life.
Q.4) What are the causes of bird strikes?
Bird strikes may occur due to poor airport and aircraft design, human error, and bird behavior.
The rise in bird strikes at airports has sparked grave concerns for airline safety. The aviation industry must take proactive measures to minimize the risk of bird strikes and enhance aviation safety. Bird strikes not only cause significant harm to people and planes but also lead to economic losses and reputation damage for airlines and airports. Through proper airport design, training, and the use of bird repellents, the risks associated with bird strikes can be substantially reduced, providing safe air travel for all.