Birdstrike Management R&D

Whilst the world of bird and wildlife strike management continues to be driven by improving the basics of habitat management to and active control there are always opportunities and developments that merit consideration. Birdstrike Management staff strive to ensure a scientific approach to help quantify, measure and control risks through targeted research and development. 


Here in the UK, birds of prey suffered significant persecution and accidental poisoning over many decades with the result that many common species were almost lost from the countryside in the mid to late 20th century. Their return over the past few decades is a conservation success story that is, however, impacting on flight safety issues at aerodromes. BML are working closely with a major UK airport and UK statutory government bodies to review the use of traps that have been successfully deployed to relocated birds of prey in some European countries.


Working with the University of Aarhus, Birdstrike Management staff utilised their extensive expertise and contacts around the world to review the management programmes used on airfield to control the risk from geese. As a large, flocking species with a proven track record of causing catastrophic incidents our staff were only too pleased to help produce this review of the science behind goose management at and around aerodromes.


Without doubt bird detection radar systems are becoming a feature of aviation monitoring with systems now in place at many airports around the world. Our staff were involved with the very first adoption of these systems in the UK and are currently working at international airports undertaking validation programmes on behalf of airport operators for two of the major radar providers.


BML staff have been involved with surveying nesting gull populations for several years and acknowledge the difficulties of ground based and vantage point survey methodologies. With this in mind, professional drone technology was deployed in 2016 within an industrial estate adjacent to an airport to assess whether improvements in detection could be made. The results were dramatic. Having now tested the methodology we are able to offer this service to our clients.


Habitat management, particularly grass management in western Europe, remains a key defence against hazardous species encroaching the airfield environment. The quality and repellence of the sward at many airfields, however, may not be as successful as it could be at deterring these species. BML has developed and helped implement a ten airfield review of habitat management using independent specialist agronomists to evaluate how airfield grassland 'long grass policy' can be better implemented. Results showed the specific areas requiring attention were consistent accross several airfields and, with effective deployment, would improve bird repellence and could result in cost savings on the airfield.


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