Confirmed reports of bird strikes are on the increase throughout the UK, with 1529 reported last year – up from 1278 in 2009.
Airport operators insist the risks are remote, but they are not complacent about the dangers of the incidents.
Bird strikes have been blamed for bringing down huge aircraft in the past, including the incident in 2009 where an Airbus A320 was forced to ditch in the Hudson river in New York.
Glasgow Airport reported eight strikes this year involving large birds, up from the usual annual average of three.
Officials say more swans and geese may be migrating to Scotland, and some birds may be roosting in nearby industrial buildings.
The CAA figures show bird strikes at Inverness Airport increased from 24 in 2010 and 31 last year to 35 so far this year.
In Aberdeen reports fell from 37 to 27 in 2010 and 2011 respectively. But the number has reached 38 for 2012.
Prestwick Airport had a reduction in reported incidents, from 15 last year to eight so far this year.
More past news items on aviation and bird strikes at Biodiversity News
A company called “Scarecrow” that makes its money from bird scaring at airports (and so which might have a vested interest in the number of bird strikes?) says
“The Civil Aviation Authority in the UK have recently announced that all reported bird strikes to aircraft were up by 23% in 2010 compared with the previous year. Confirmed bird strikes were up by 10% in 2010 against the previous year and 3% compared to 2009. Several species involved in aircraft bird strikes are on the increase; gulls by 50%, swallows up by 150% and there’s a 45% increase in swifts striking aircraft. Interestingly, pigeons are now deemed to be less of a problem – down by 25% – kestrels involved in strikes to aircraft are also well down. ” Link
CAA calls for improved bird identification following birdstrikes
4.5.2012 (CAA website)
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is today launching a campaign to emphasise the importance of obtaining identification of bird species following a birdstrike occurrence.
Correct bird identification helps airfield personnel to target the species causing most incidents when putting together habitat management programmes or other bird hazard mitigation methods that discourage birds from nesting on airfields.
However, CAA birdstrike data indicates that as much as 40 per cent of all birdstrikes reported to the CAA contain no bird species information at all. The CAA has therefore launched a campaign, aimed at those who report birdstrikes to the CAA, to make every effort to identify the species of bird involved in a strike.
… and it continues … at