Bird Strikes | Basic Information About The Risks And Mitigation - Aviation Professional


Monday, September 7, 2020

Bird Strikes | Basic Information About The Risks And Mitigation

Bird Strikes ,Basic Information ,The Risks And Mitigation,bird hit,bird ingestion,Bird Aircraft Strikes  Hazard

First update : 21-11-2020 

Wildlife strikes to civil and military aviation has a strong impact - the impact between an aircraft and one or more wild animals - mainly birds (the so-called “bird-strike”)- all over the world. The presence of   Birds and other animals on and near an airport poses a serious hazard to aircrafts operational safety. Bird Strikes on aircrafts not only result in significant costs, in terms of human lives and material damage to aircrafts.


Since 1988, more than 255 people have been killed in the world because of wildlife strikes, and at least 380 military aircrafts and 88 civilian aircrafts have been destroyed.


Scientists think that birds own its ability to identify threats to both instinct and learning. Experiments suggest that young birds may be genetically wired to avoid risks. But they need to watch experienced birds in action to refine their know-how. By watching their parents in the act of mobbing, youngsters gain critical knowledge that may save their own skin. Of course, this ability works for non-bird strikes hazards.

By this short introduction about wildlife strikes to civil and military aviation - specially bird strikes - I am sure you may need to know more about this subject.  In this article I will let you know the basics information about Bird Strike, Bird Strike mitigation measures, and what kind of advanced technology is used.

What is a bird Strike? 

Simply, when Birds hits the aircraft (during the flight) at different points it's called "  Bird Strikes " . There are many other names such as:

1-    bird hit,

2-     bird ingestion.

3-     or BASH (for Bird Aircraft Strikes Hazard).


What is the danger with birds in airports?

Most impacts between aircraft and wildlife – such as “bird-strike”- occur at airports and in their immediate vicinity. Approximately 80% of impacts occur below 300ft altitude during take-off and landing.

The risk of impact, during a landing or take-off phase, is linked to several contingent factors: type of bird present in the airport, the intensity of the activity, the number of individuals, the direction, the position and in general to factors typical of the airport under consideration: geographical location, proximity to foraging areas for birds or sources of attraction such as landfills and cultivated fields, the presence of wetlands, the fact of being positioned along particular migration routes for certain bird species, the management of airport sediments and much more. 

I will further explain “bird-strike” as one of many wildlife strikes to civil and military aviation. when birds hit the aircraft turbine and gets caught in the engine, this event is referred to as a jet engine ingestion (since the birds is 'ingested' by the engine). After being 'stuck' in the engine, the birds can cause a disruption in the rotatory motion of the fan blades, resulting in a partial or complete failure of that engine.

 ICAO Provisions on Bird Hazard Reduction

-  ICAO Annex 14, Volume I require - from states - that action be taken to decrease the risk to aircraft operations by adopting measures to minimize the likelihood of collisions between wildlife and aircraft.

-  ICAO Airport Services Manual, Part 3 — Wildlife Hazard Management (Doc 9137). This document provides airport personnel with the information necessary to develop and implement an effective wildlife control group for their airport. In addition, the modifications to be carried out at an aerodrome to remove the features which attract wildlife.

Furthermore, ICAO (Doc 9137), list many advanced technologies that can predict and detect wildlife potentially hazardous to aircraft operations and provide information to reduce the risk of these hazards


-  ICAO Bird Strike Information System (IBIS) (Doc 9332)

This system is designed to collect and disseminate information on wildlife Strikes to aircrafts around world.

Wildlife strike reports are collected and forwarded to ICAO for inclusion in the ICAO Bird Strike Information System (IBIS) database.


Bird Strike Risk Reduction Strategies

The main strategy on which the action of mitigation of the risk of bird-strikes in airports is based in the daily monitoring of birds.


The monitoring is supported by the various detection systems and the ecological-environmental management plan of the airport in order to minimize the sources of attraction for birds and make the airport a hostile place for bird presence.


In fact, there are some of the weaknesses of the monitoring system currently used in airports around the world.


In aviation safety, technology is one of perfect three safety defenses [ beside Regulation and Training]. So advance technology is used in new detection systems to strengthen safety measures in mitigation of the risk of bird-strikes in airports.  


Bird Strike risk reduction strategies may base on one or many of the following control measures:

1-    Bird & Drone detection system

Detection system must be capable of effectively recognizing and classifying bird species and calculating their trajectory, and immediately orchestrating the actions required to remove species from the area to be kept safe. Let me give you one example the B.C.M.S VENTUR system.  


Unlike radar and micro-doppler systems, B.C.M.S VENTUR system can recognize the species with an accuracy of more than 95%, in order to guarantee the activation of the most suitable deterrent system.

Or using of bird's detection radar.


2- Habitat Management

This can be influenced by specific measures e.g. shorter vegetation, the netting of water reservoirs, passive bird control measures on building and Falconry.

3-Use of Predators

The use of peregrine and other falcons with various teams distributed over the day can create hostilities in the affected territory. 

 4- Bird Robots

 flying models in the form of predators may be used and controlled by experienced pilots.  

5- Acoustic Methods - Predator Cry Systems

Birds react to acoustic stimuli. This is used by predator cry- and blank firing systems. These imitate predator and the warning cries of the birds to be controlled.

6- Acoustic Methods - Directional Acoustic Systems

Acoustic Device acoustic signals up to 150 dB can be directionally beamed up to 1,500 meters. It transmits bird cries and other noises that disturb birds.

7- Visual Methods

Research has shown that birds perceive light at 532nm wave length particularly well. Using laser system is effective. The laser must only directed downwards to be safe.

8- Netting

For historical reasons, airports are often close to land fill sites. These are irresistible attractions to birds. The only one solution is the large-area netting of the landfills, and also the neighboring reservoirs, hangars and other buildings.

9- Bird Houses

Birds Houses may be used to attract birds so that they can be easily controlled and the population reduced by exchanging the eggs.


Additional methods may be applied by airport authority following the National Civil Aviation Authority requirements.



Preventing is better than a cure, in another word, keeping aircraft and birds apart where possible by using advanced technology beside other traditional Bird Strike risk reduction measures.  

Bird detection system should be associated with an appropriate policy of ecological and environmental management of the airport, established on the basis of accurate and detailed naturalistic research.





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