General Aviation Urged to Increase Bird Strike Reporting

Saying reporting is low by this segment of the industry, the FAA has begun a wildlife poster outreach campaign to raise awareness. With more reports, the agency will help airport sponsors develop mitigation plans.

The Federal Aviation Administration has begun a wildlife poster outreach campaign to urge general aviation pilots, airport sponsors, mechanics, engine manufacturers, flight school students, and aviation organizations to increase wildlife strike reporting. "For the last 50 years, the FAA has worked to reduce wildlife strikes at airports and periodically conducts studies to gauge the effectiveness of its program. The latest study shows that the general aviation population accounts for only six percent of the total strikes reported, which is more than 100,000 reports. Through increased and concentrated educational outreach, the FAA hopes to close the reporting gap between the more than 2,000 GA airports and certificated airports that operate with an increased level of safety and oversight," the agency said in its Nov. 8 announcement of the program.

The "Report Wildlife Strikes" poster shows a bird inside a caution sign and a message to report wildlife strikes. Copies have been distributed to the general aviation community for display in highly used areas, such as training rooms and break rooms.

FAA said it wants to learn from airport sponsors why reporting is low and to work with them to increase reporting and reduce wildlife strikes. Its strike database, in existence since 1990, recorded some 121,000 wildlife strikes from 1990 to 2010. From 2006 to 2010, an average of 26 per day were recorded, according to the agency.

Obtaining more strike information will tell airport sponsors and FAA what types of wildlife are involved, the amount of damage to the aircraft, and how many strikes occur at general aviation airports annually. The agency will use the information to help airport sponsors develop wildlife mitigation plans.

Wildlife strikes can be reported online or via an app; visit http://wildlife.faa.gov for information. The poster includes a Quick Response code scanner for smart phone users who have the QR application.

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