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Airport Wildlife Safety Management. Edwin Herricks, Bruce Branham, Amanda Kiser, and Theresa Kissane Depts CEE & NRES University of Illinois. Aircraft Strikes Should Gain More National Attention Now!. How Much of A Problem Are Wildlife Strikes at Airports?.

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airport wildlife safety management

Airport Wildlife Safety Management

Edwin Herricks, Bruce Branham, Amanda Kiser, and Theresa Kissane

Depts CEE & NRES

University of Illinois

how much of a problem are wildlife strikes at airports
How Much of A Problem Are Wildlife Strikes at Airports?
  • Since 1988, global wildlife strikes have killed more than 194 people and destroyed >163 aircraft.
  • From 1990-2005, 66,392 strikes were reported to the FAA. FAA estimates only 20% of wildlife strikes are reported.
  • Birds were involved in 97.5 % of the strikes.
  • Reported strikes increased from 1,744 in 1990 to 7,236 in 2005.
how much of a problem are wildlife strikes at airports1
How Much of A Problem Are Wildlife Strikes at Airports?
  • Over 695 deer-aircraft strikes occurred between 1990-2005.
  • 79 aircraft-reptile strikes were reported over this period.
bird detraction studies
Bird Detraction Studies
  • Building a poorer mousetrap!
  • GOAL: To develop a turf and storm water infrastructure system that will provide the benefits of turf cover - water infiltration, noise and dust reduction, cooling, etc., while making the area as unattractive to wildlife as possible.
bird detraction studies1
Bird Detraction Studies
  • Components of the system
    • Turfgrass species - choosing grasses that not only don’t attract wildlife, finding species that wildlife detest.
    • Soil quality - our hypothesis is that many species of birds forage on turf for protein, i.e. insects, if we can find ways to reduce the soil insect population, that should result in less wildlife visits.
bird detraction studies2
Bird Detraction Studies
  • Other techniques to reduce soil insect populations - biobarriers.
bird detraction studies current research
Bird Detraction Studies - Current Research
  • Effects of soil quality & soil insects on bird attraction
    • Initiated at research center in Urbana on two soils with two levels of soil insects.
    • Monitored for bird visits beginning in Sept through late November.
    • Will continue monitoring in spring
    • Limited by size
bird detraction studies3
Bird Detraction Studies
  • Established zoysiagrass on poor quality soil.
future studies
Future Studies
  • Need a relatively large site, 3-5 acres, preferably with a water feature, to test several species of turfgrasses and soil types on bird attraction.
  • Will test the relative bird detraction of several species of cool and warm season turfgrasses, particularly zoysiagrass, a warm season turf that geese appear to avoid.
soil vegetation
Soil & Vegetation
  • : Effectiveness of zoysia grass at discouraging grazing birds
  • Geese avoid feeding on this foliage
  • Warm-season grass – less maintenance
  • Brown during migratory seasons
  • : Turf performance on poor-quality soils
  • Develop guidelines for OMP for selecting soils for site establishment
  • Significant cost savings
  • Use spoil piles at O’Hare – could save millions of dollars
stormwater infrastructure
Stormwater Infrastructure
  • Surface waters at airports present a safety hazard
  • Provide food and resting areas for wildlife
  • Control practices can minimize the attractiveness to wildlife
  • ArcGIS software is being used to create a dynamic GIS to map the stormwater infrastructure and consider wildlife habitat potentials on the airport
stormwater infrastructure cont d
Stormwater Infrastructure (cont’d)
  • GIS development:
  • Aerial photography, etc.
  • MicroStation files brought into ArcGIS
  • General procedure for converting MicroStation files to ArcGIS
  • Defined the global projection of the MicroStation data
  • Used data management tools available in ArcGIS
  • Point, polyline, and polygon layers created
stormwater infrastructure cont d2
Stormwater Infrastructure (cont’d)
  • Analyses using GIS system:
  • Identifying potential hazard areas and other areas of concern
  • Working with USDA wildlife services
stormwater infrastructure cont d3
Stormwater Infrastructure (cont’d)
  • Analyses using GIS system (cont’d):
  • Locations of open water bodies relative to runways and other airport features
  • GIS system helps relate the locations of existing and proposed features
  • Helps connect current and future conditions at O’Hare
stormwater infrastructure cont d4
Stormwater Infrastructure (cont’d)
  • Analyses using GIS system (cont’d):
  • Glide slopes of existing and proposed runways brought into our GIS system
  • Determine location of approaches relative to surrounding land use
stormwater infrastructure cont d5
Stormwater Infrastructure (cont’d)
  • Analyses using GIS system (cont’d):
  • GIS system serves as a basis for stormwater modeling
  • My thesis topic: design of airport detention basins with consideration to both wildlife habitat unattractiveness and water quality
  • Factors to consider: detention time in basins, water surface area, water depth, pond size and shape, side slopes, pond location and isolation, and surrounding vegetation
  • Map watershed areas in GIS using spatial analyst tools for use in SWMM model
  • Working on creating a SWMM model of the proposed north detention basin – plan to test certain parameters such as infiltration rates and pond size and shape and determine how that affects detention time in the basin, etc.
other contributions
Other Contributions
  • Have revised the general seeding specifications, removing Kentucky bluegrass as the principal turfgrass species, using pure stands of tall fescue.
    • Emphasized the value of using endophytes
  • Have worked with Marty Carroll on issues of erosion prevention.
  • Participated in conference call to develop new standards for plant establishment in stream channels.