CIAA works to rid airport of wildlife

| 25/11/2015
Cayman News Service

CIAA working group meets to discuss airport wildlife hazards

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) recently hosted its yearly meeting on the issue of wildlife at Owen Roberts International Airport. According to the CIAA, wildlife is a major problem for airports around the world, costing the airline industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year in damage to aircraft.

The annual Wildlife Hazard Working Group Meeting was held Tuesday, 17 November to look at ways to address the problem.

CIAA chief safety management officer Andrew McLaughlin explained, “Since safety is the top priority, the Airports Authority has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to wildlife in the aircraft-manoeuvring areas.

“CIAA staff conduct at least four scheduled runway inspections and countless other special inspections as needed daily to ensure that the airport runway is free from wildlife which includes various birds, iguanas, cats and dogs.”

Over the last several years, the CIAA has experimented with a variety of methods to deter wildlife from the airport including trapping and relocation, as well as scare tactics that involve the use of a propane powered air cannon, which causes a loud popping noise. CIAA staff also frequently drive around the airport beeping horns to move the birds away.

In addition, the Airports Authority has once again partnered with St Matthews University faculty and students for a detailed yearlong wildlife study that will focus on habitat modification to make the airport less appealing to animals.

The last study, completed in 2011, resulted in airport staff getting a better understanding of not only what species of hazardous wildlife were resident at the airport, but also their behavioural patterns. This understanding is paramount in effective wildlife control, McLaughlin added.

Hazardous wildlife training is also continuous for CIAA staff with one member of the airport operations team recently completing an overseas wildlife-mitigation course and two more personnel attending annual recurrent training.


Category: Airport

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