April 2001 Issue

Strike One, You’re Out

Smacking a bird in the air or an animal on the runway makes an expensive mess, sure, but it can be plenty dangerous, too

Airplanes share the air with birds and the ground with animals. Unfortunately, bird strikes and animal strikes are a serious economic and safety problem.

Researchers estimate that wildlife strikes have cost the civil aviation industry more than $300 million a year every year for the last decade. Add in the cost to military aircraft, and the costs resulting from wildlife strikes likely exceed $500 million a year in North America alone. The cost isnít just financial, either. More than 300 people have been killed worldwide from bird strikes.

Many airports are located close to water and have large expanses of grass Ė both of which are attractive to birds and other wildlife. Many times the...

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