Air navigation services and aerodromesBird control

Bird control enhances aviation safety

Bird control measures are taken at all Finnish airports. They are important to flight
safety and also bring economical benefits. Bird control mainly consists of dispersing birds
from airport manoeuvring areas. Statistics collected by the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority
show that 70–120 bird strikes are reported in Finland each year. Most bird strikes occur
in summer.

Bird strikes must be reported to the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with Aviation Regulation GEN M1-4 (pdf, only in Finnish).

Bird control work at Finnish airports is effective. The main objective is to improve flight safety; although bird strikes are rarely hazardous to passenger aircraft, bird control measures contribute to the safety of aviation. Moreover, lowering the number of bird strikes brings cost savings to airlines. The annual sum of money used for bird control in Finland is 50–100 thousand euros, which is only a fraction of the cost of a single serious engine damage to an airline.

Other animals than birds can usually be kept away from airport movement areas by fencing, but bird control requires different methods. To begin with, the airport environment must be designed so that it does not attract birds. Waste tips must not be placed closer than 10 kilometres from an airport. Any ponds near airports must be filled and trees reduced. Finally, birds can be dispersed by using blank cartridges intended for this purpose.

According to the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority’s statistics, the annual number of bird strikes in Finland is 70-120. Most bird strikes occur in the summer, when the bird population is largest because of migratory birds. Bird strikes are most common during climb and descent, at which stage passenger aircraft fly at the same height as birds.