Friday, December 13, 2013

Bird Activity Trending At Airports

Fall is the migratory bird season and bird activities are causing airport operational challenges. Without an automated real-time bird activity tracking system, airport operators are relying on submitted bird sighting reports for trending.  Birds are on the runway, in the approach/departure, and anywhere else in the vicinity of the airport. If there is a river near by, the birds may follow the river both upstream and downstream. Birds are hazards.

There is currently no commonly used technological application for real-time bird activity threats. Airport operators are relying on their own SMS reports submitted by airport staff, pilots or controllers. The bird sighting process may be simplified by counting one bird or a flock of birds as one sighting.


An airport somewhere had 58 actual birdstrikes over a 3 year period. 60 % of the birdstrikes occurred in August and September. 


During this same 3 year period 60% of the birdstrikes happened on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.


From these two simple graphs, it can be assessed that over a 3 year period 60% of birdstrikes happened between August 1st and September 30th, and between Thursday morning and Monday Evening.

When the bird-sighting numbers are known an airport operator may apply addition bird-avoidance mitigation during these peak times of bird activities. In business practices there is a common approach to target customers. In SMS, the common approach is still to “target customers”, which is this case are birds. 

In Business: Target the customers and set course of action. In SMS: Target the “customers” and set course of action. 
Reducing bird-sightings should reduce bird-strikes. In other words; Hazards are mitigated and Incidents reduced. Targeting hazards and set course of action is “Zero Tolerance to Compromise Aviation Safety”

BirdsEye59604