Flight 1549

Birds – and other animals – at the airport

The US Airways jet that made an emergency landing on the Hudson River yesterday may be have been taken down by birds.  So today you’ll see a lot of news stories about what airports do to try to keep birds out of flight paths.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the final destination of yesterday’s diverted flight, is holding a press conference today to describe its bird strike avoidance program and introduce us to the airport’s wildlife biologist/wildlife coordinator, a position created back in the 1970’s.

Lots of airports now have people on staff whose job it is to make the land around the airport less attractive to wildlife.  At Florida’s Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers they have dogs: in 1991 the airport was the first in the nation to employ a dog as part of its Wildlife Management Program.


(Radar, Southwest Florida International Airport’s firstwildlife management dog)