Research Publications

Aircraft–wildlife collisions at two major Namibian Airports from 2006–2010

An analysis, the first of its kind in Namibia, was conducted on five years’ (2006–2010) Aircraft–wildlife collision (AWC) records from two Namibian airports. These records were compared to AWC reports of three Namibian airlines. Trends in annual and seasonal occurrence of AWCs and species responsible for collisions were investigated. A total of 55 and 73 AWC incidents were reported at Hosea Kutako and Eros airports, respectively. No year-on-year trends in reported AWC incidents could be established, with the highest percentage recorded in the first year (37% of all records). By cross-referencing reports from different entities we estimate that only 19% of incidents were recorded over the study period. Both birds and mammals were involved in AWCs during the period with the two most common species being crowned lapwing (Vanellus coronatus) (16% of all incidents at Hosea Kutako and 69% of incidents at Eros) and helmeted guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) (9% and 8%, respectively). Unidentified species accounted for, on average, 25% of incidents at Hosea Kutako and 9% at Eros. This analysis provides public and scientific awareness on AWCs as a form of human–wildlife conflict and provides focus for further research into habitat and environmental factors which attract species frequently involved in aircraft collisions. The study sets a baseline of collision frequency against which the success of future airport wildlife minimization efforts can be measured.
Key words: aircraft, wildlife, collision, bird strike, reporting, conflict.

Author(s): 

Morgan L. Hauptfleisch
Nico L. Avenant
Alton Tsowaseb

Publication Date: 

July, 2013