Birds eggs destroyed over Belfast City Airport plane fears

20.5.2008   (UK Airport News)

Bird eggs are being destroyed at Victoria Park in east Belfast by the Environment
and Heritage Service over fears that the hatchlings could affect flights at Belfast City Airport, the BBC reports.
The Canadian and greylag geese eggs nesting in the park part of which runs alongside
the runway of the airport,are being pricked then dipped in oil to kill the developing

John Milburne, of the EHS, told the news website that, while they did not relish
it, it had to be done for air safety reasons as the geese could pose a real risk
to aircraft.    He said: ‘I was talking to a representative of the airport just
this morning and he told me there were 16 bird-strikes last year.’

‘They were reasonably inconsequential in that smaller birds hit the airframe
of planes, but if we had birds being ingested into jet engines, particularly birds
the size of a swan or a goose, then you would have a potential catastrophe on
your hands. We’ve got to deter the birds from actually being there, that’s the
problem, or increasing in numbers, and this seems to be the only known method
of doing that.’

Mr Milburne said the geese are descended from birds which have escaped from captivity
in Northern Ireland.     He told the BBC: ‘Naturally occurring populations of those
species only come here in the winter time and they don’t breed here.   These particular
birds at the airport are feral birds and they’re breeding there and that’s what’s
causing the problem.’

He said destroying the eggs was the most humane way of reducing the birds’ numbers,
adding: ‘ ‘We are really talking about doing this quite early in the development
of the embryo in the egg and in some cases before the egg has even started to

20.05.08 Birds eggs destroyed over Belfast City Airport plane fears