A good evaluation is essential to reduce wildlife hazards at airports

In its June 2013 issue, the magazine “Avion Revue Internacional” published an article entitled: Colisiones con aves en aeropuertos. Primer paso: un buen diagnóstico (Bird strikes at airports. First step: a good evaluation), which reflected the good practices at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in the management of risks related to birds and other animals in the airport grounds.

Minuartia has extensive experience in airport wildlife management worldwide and is responsible for drawing up, monitoring and updating the Integrated Bird Strike Risk Management Programme at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, in a team with Xavier Ferrer from the University of Barcelona (UB).

This Programme meets the current requirements of the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) and defines the specific actions that are applied in the airport. In the process of drawing up the Programme, actions that need to be implemented were selected on the basis of an evaluation that take into account the following aspects, among others: the bird species that are found on the grounds and its biology and ecology, and the characteristics of the airfield grounds and of the surrounding habitats. The Programme also analyses the effectiveness of the actions of the airport’s Wildlife Control Service and focuses on innovative habitat management measures, which ensure that as few incidents as possible are caused by birds and other animals.

These actions allow Barcelona-El Prat Airport to ensure air safety in an area with a high wildlife richness that is found in the terrestrial and aquatic habitats surrounding the airport. The team Minuartia-UB is characterised by innovation, design of measures specially adapted to each airport and a high attention paid to communication and cooperation with all the stakeholders.