DFW Airport Planes Hitting Fewer Birds

Well, maybe. This NBC 5 story found the the number of reports of birds striking planes during takeoff or landings at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is down, but also acknowledges that an Federal Aviation Administration study found that nationwide more than half of these incidents aren’t reported. So who knows?

D/FW had the second-most bird strikes of any airport in the nation, which doesn’t seem out of line considering that it’s one of the five busiest airports in the U.S. Why should this matter to you? You’ll likely remember that airline pilot “Sully” Sullenberger became a national hero in 2009 by landing his plane safely in the Hudson river after a flock of geese ran into the engines. And here’s the obligatory TV-news-scare-the-bejeezus-out-of-you section of the NBC 5 report:

Wildlife biologist Nick Carter is a consultant that has worked with airports all over the world to reduce bird strikes.

He said the FAA often tells airports to do something about the birds, but then doesn’t come back and check for compliance.

“If you knew what I knew, you’d probably be scared to fly a lot more than you are right now,” said Carter.

In 2012, the FAA’s inspector general found that, “…27 of 35 airports did not comply with at least 1 or more requirements for their (wildlife) assessments and plans. Yet FAA’s inspection documentation indicated that the airports were compliant…”

Carter said the threat cannot be overlooked.

“One day it will cause a plane to crash and kill everyone on board. The incident in the Hudson River was the canary in the mine so to speak. It’s going to happen again,” said Carter.

And what’s the bird situation at Love Field, you ask?

DFW has more tools than smaller Dallas Love Field Airport, where NBC 5 Investigates recently found flocks of pigeons on the landing lights and huge groups of ducks sitting under the flight path at Bachman Lake.

After a recent inspection by the FAA, which occurs most every year, Love Field was ordered to take immediate action to remove troublesome birds.

Happy flying!