Airport Wildlife Management Program Design, Development & Enhancement

American Kestrel - Nassau, Bahamas

Airport Wildlife Management Plans (WMP) are developed to effectively manage risk in an adaptive manner to reduce the probability of occurrence of wildlife collisions with aircraft. It is especially important to manage and thereby reduce bird strikes during the critical take-off and landing phases of aircraft operation. Mammals and even reptiles can also be a significant risk to aircraft operations and therefore need to be part of an integrated WMP. While the risk of a wildlife strike can never be completely eliminated, the goal of a WMP is to minimize the risk of strikes to aircraft and thus manage the risk to an acceptable level The WHMP provides the necessary direction to do so, in a scientifically sound manner. Because any WMP must be adaptive to be successful in the long-term, WMPs are not static and require continual modifications and enhancements to keep the WMP effective.

Our approach to the development or re-development of a WMP is to begin with a risk assessment, determine the best individual methods reasonably available to the airport required for each individual risk, and then integrate these into a WMP. The key components that dictate success in a WMP are the trade-offs made when actions taken to deter one species or group of wildlife favours another. We use an ecological approach to airport wildlife management where the habitat, behaviour and ecology of wildlife are used to develop largely non-lethal systems to discourage animals from occupying or crossing runways. Our WMPs are operational documents that can be used to direct field personnel in their duties to achieve a successful wildlife management program.