News - Full Story
Airport testing new way to avoid deadly bird strikes
13th August, 2014
Source - Associated Press
When birds and planes collide, the results can be deadly. That’s why airports around the world work hard to keep birds away, even resorting to shooting or poisoning large flocks.

One Ohio airport is now experimenting with a new, gentler way to avoid bird strikes: planting tall prairie grass.

Heavy birds like geese — which cause the most damage to planes — are believed to avoid long grasses because they fear predators might be hiding within. So officials at Dayton International Airport are converting up to 300 acres of the airfield’s 2,200 non-aeronautical acres into prairie grass. The goal is, by the end of this year, to plant the tall grass under the takeoff and landing paths.

There are more than 10,000 airplane bird strikes a year in the U.S. Most do little or no damage to the plane. The most frequent problem is damage to the engines. The FAA estimates that such damage costs the industry $950 million a year.

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