U.S Airports Planting Tall prairie Grass to Keep Birds away from Runways
Wildlife is usually prone to strike airplanes at airports. When birds and planes collide, the results can be deadly. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 11,315 wildlife strikes were reported by aircrafts in 2013 and 97% of those involved birds. Between 1988 and 2013, 255 people died as a result of airplane and bird collisions.
This is very common throughout the airports of United States, but the most problematic species is the Canada goose. The Flocks of geese repeatedly gather on the short open grasses adjoining airport runways. When they take off in groups, they can quickly find themselves in the path of a airplanes moving at speeds upwards of 200 miles per hour.
In order to keep wildlife away from encroaching on airport facilities, Dayton International Airport is changing its landscape, especially runways. Runways at Dayton are being planted with prairie grass. Their conversion into un- mowed fields will prevent deadly bird strikes and frighten them.
According to officials, geese feel uncomfortable being surrounded by tall grass. Baltimore Washington International, Erie International, San Francisco International, Rochester International, Portland International in Oregon, Elmira Corning Regional Airport in New York, and Chicago Rockford in Illinois are among those airports which have already planted taller grass.
Christina Kobland, landscaping biodiversity and wildlife specialist, has pioneered the sales of her patented and trademarked grass called FlightTurf. Her move is to benefit airport managers and aviation safety officials who are involved in the same project as Dayton International Airport.
Kobland added, "Reduced mowing eliminates runway incursion, a costly safety issue. In some situations, airports implement a full or partial closure for mowing alone. Less mowing also significantly decreases the flush of insects, mutilation of small animals and production of hay, all of which unduly attracts wildlife".
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