NORWICH – Recent events such as the bird strikes on a US Air jet that had to land in the Hudson River and other issues involving wildlife and aviation are in the news. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has rules and regulations concerning control of wildlife on and around airports to improve aviation safety.
Lt. Warren E. Eaton Airport in Norwich has always had a Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Plan as required by the FAA, but have developed a more comprehensive approach to improve safety at the airport. The Wildlife Hazard planning team, consisting of Airport Administrator Donald Macintosh, General Manager Jamie Baciuska of Gama Aviation, and Operations Chief Rebekkah Whiting of TASIS Comm Group, has examined the variety of methods the FAA allows to control wildlife hazards. Those include actual hunting of the wildlife, pyrotechnics, and oiling wildfowl eggs. One technique now in use is the planting of a special grass and maintaining it at a level so that the wildfowl cannot see approaching predators. They also don’t like the taste or texture of that grass. The planning team employs the best tactics to control risks but is concerned about the ecological and environmental impact to the area.