Any animal species, even small in size, may cause substantial damage to an aircraft. However, it proves difficult to clearly qualify whether a given species constitutes a potential danger to aviation, in its broadest sense. Wildlife numbers need to be evaluated as accurately as possible, and especially birds of a single species present or dominant within a delimited location, and to include birds flying over airports during migration periods.
It is also necessary to take into consideration the many animal populations and their movements within the airport perimeter and the surrounding area. Although the various species frequenting treeless landscapes such as open countryside present a definite risk to aircraft, nonetheless those species that live in wooded or semi-wooded environments are also a genuine hazard. This explains why it is advisable to have a picture of the wildlife situation at the regional level.
This all leads one to believe that the larger an animal is, the worse is the damage caused by a straightforward impact, even when caused by a single individual. However, the presence of a large number of individuals of a single species considerably increases the risk of strikes; this also includes small birds which can flock into groups of lesser or greater size. If the increase in wildlife populations is combined with the increase in the number of movements of aircraft, these being fitted with increasingly quiet jet engines and taking in large quantities of air, wildlife risk at airports is rising. The faster speeds of aircraft when taking off and landing are also tending to increase the severity of damage caused.
Airports must not downplay this risk. This is why appropriate passive and active measures must be put in place.
Even if the analysis of a natural phenomenon is difficult to implement, airtrace has defined a methodology in order to analyze the wildlife indicative risk of an airport.
The software MANIRA-Airport® has been developed with the objective to allow each airport to define its indicative wildlife risk through the methodology defined by airtrace. In the license contract available hereinafter, you will find the necessary information to acquire the software.
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