The FAA recently launched an outreach campaign for the general aviation community to increase wildlife strike reporting by pilots, airport sponsors, mechanics, engine manufacturers, students at aviation schools, and aviation organizations.
For the last 50 years, the FAA has worked to reduce wildlife strikes at airports and periodically conducts studies to gauge the effectiveness of its program, according to agency officials. The latest study shows that the general aviation population accounts for only 6% of the total strikes reported, which is still more than 100,000 reports. Through increased — and concentrated — educational outreach, the FAA hopes to close the reporting gap between the more than 2,000 GA airports and certificated airports that operate with an increased level of safety and oversight.
This year’s poster “Report Wildlife Strikes” depicts a caution sign with a bird inside and the simple message to report wildlife strikes. Copies of the poster have been delivered to the general aviation community and are designed to be placed in highly-used areas such as training rooms and break rooms.
FAA officials say they want to hear from airport sponsors why reporting is low and encourage them to work with the agency to increase reporting and reduce wildlife strikes. The strike information will tell the airport sponsors and the FAA what types of wildlife are involved, the amount of damage to the aircraft, and how many strikes occur at general aviation airports annually. This information will allow the FAA to help airport sponsors develop wildlife mitigation plans to reduce wildlife strikes, agency officials note.
In addition to the poster outreach, the FAA is encouraging GA airports to conduct a wildlife hazard assessment to help airport sponsors understand and determine the wildlife hazards on their airports. The FAA may support GA airports by making Airport Improvement Program grants available to conduct an assessment, officials said.
The FAA also has developed mobile application software to make strike reporting easier. Now, anyone can report a wildlife strike via the web or their phone or iPad at Wildlife.FAA.gov. The FAA also placed a Quick Response (QR) code scanner on the bottom of the poster for smart phone users who have the QR application.