Gone are the times when the problem of conflicts between wildlife (birds in particular) and aviation was largely underestimated and neglected in Italy. In those times, airlines and airport operators fatalistically put on their budget plans some impacts and some damages to aircraft without taking on themselves methods or projects for a better prevention.
CAA itself underestimated the question for a long time, only issuing occasional warnings.
If this could be somehow justified in the propeller and piston era, it became simply untenable after the big and fast jet airplane arrival. So, high has been the toll to pay worldwide, even in terms of human lives, to achieve the risk awareness and to find the proper solutions.
Today, also thanks to some legal and regulatory actions, the situation has radically changed; there are no more airports in Italy that do not have a risk reduction programme in progress regarding wildlifestrikes. The problem, to put it clearly, does not have easy solutions. Birds do not know borders and their behaviour, even though mostly habitual, is only roughly predictable.
Furthermore, they rapidly adapt themselves to any method to exclude them from a site and, paradoxically, airports are naturally bird-attracting places. Therefore, managing wildlife problems, far from being considered an “exact science”, is a sort of art, or at least a high quality artisanship.
Moreover, the stakes are high: even a multiple impact followed by an engine ingestion may cause damages for millions of Euros, not to mention the irreparable consequences of human lives.
Obviously, with proper weapons and avoiding the misleading “do it yourself”, that causes waste of time and money. We can win the battle using proper technologies based on a scientific analysis of the phenomenon and followed by a constant monitoring.
It is an expensive activity, we have to admit it, but if you think that prevention is too costly…try an accident!
This site is dedicated to those who daily work to achieve the difficult balance between flight safety and wildlife conservation, both considered primary interests, though certainly not on the same footing.