Airports devise plans for wildlife strikes

In this Tuesday, July 23, 2013, photo, a United Airlines jet takes off from Pittsburgh International Airport in Imperial, Pa. United Airlines reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Hundreds of airports across the country are getting help to cut back on dangerous wildlife strikes.

Officials say every year there are about 9,000 strikes to civilian, commercial, and military aircraft resutling in damage, and in some cases, the loss of life.

But soon, that could change thanks to new technologies, such as sonar radar, and efforts by the the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We plant grass that is specifically tested to be least desirable to Canadian geese, which is one of our biggest hazards here at the air field,” said Jonathan Leddon of the USDA Wildlife Services. “We try to keep it between 6 and 12 inches grass height, preferably 8 to 10, that way Canadian geese aren’t getting short grass to feed on and it’s not going to seed head which is a major food source for a lot of bird species.”

The Dayton International Airport has already planted hundreds of acreas of the grass in an attempt to keep away migratory birds that could pose problems to aircraft.

So far this year, there have been four reported strikes at Dayton International. That’s compared to 18 all of last year.

We also looked at some regional airports in our area and no reported wildlife strikes have been reported in the past two years.

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