Hit A Bird? FAA Needs To Know

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General aviation operators and airports need to do a better job of reporting wildlife strikes, the FAA said this week. A recent study showed that out of more than 100,000 reports, only about 6,000 originated from GA operations, indicating a reporting gap. The agency hopes to improve those numbers by distributing 12,000 posters to GA airports that encourage reporting, and redesigning its wildlife-hazard website so it's easier to file the reports. The new posters also feature a Quick Response (QR) code for smartphone users.

Airport operators that would like to study wildlife hazards may be able to get grant funds to do that, the FAA said. Better data would help the FAA to develop mitigation plans that could reduce wildlife conflicts with aircraft. Hazards include not only birds but deer, coyotes, and other animals that can cause accidents during ground operations. The FAA also said it is launching a new research effort soon that will examine the usefulness of special bird radar for use at airports to warn pilots and controllers of bird hazards.