Research Publications

Impact Assessment (IA) to solve Aircraft-Wildlife Collisions

Accidents involving aircraft and wildlife (especially birds) have been a problem since the earliest days of manned flight and are viewed as serious hazards in modern civil and military aviation. Over 90% of collisions with wildlife occur on take-off, landing, climb or final approach as these are relatively low altitude activities. In Namibia, birds are obviously by far the greatest risk, although mammals such as jackal, warthog, aardwolf, and mongoose are known to have traversed the runways and aprons of Namibian airports from time to time. Key habitat factors in and around the airports are assessed for their risk of causing aircraft-wildlife collisions. To reduce such risks management actions are implemented which leads to early reduction of the risk of collisions.

Most current actions taken by airports address symptoms of the problem, dealing with wildlife once they occur on the property. By employing environmental risk assessment methodology, a proactive approach is used to systematically reduce the risk of aircraft-wildlife collisions. This paper will show how to address problems as close as possible to their root cause, using an holistic integrated approach inspired by environmental assessment science to systematically address hazards which are expected to carry a risk of causing wildlife collisions with aircraft.

Author(s): 

Morgan L. Hauptfleisch

Publication Date: 

May, 2009