Birds commonly have a basic set of behaviours, within an airport you can encounter 3 basic bird behaviours:
1. Birds fly in flocks.
2. They will rest in open unused areas, which are the exact habitats found around many airports.
3. They migrate south for Winters and North for Summers.
These behaviours become problematic for airports because they have to spend a lot of money and time trying to control the bird population on airport grounds in order to prevent collisions with aeroplanes.
Birds that inhabit an area can cause many problems due to the fact that they can carry over 60 different disease and they make a lot of noise that can attract new birds to nest and roost which causes an increase in breeding.
A long with these problems, the biggest one is bird strikes. Bird activity is often monitored by a team of bird controllers and maintenance to airport grounds is done regularly, however, this does not stop them from becoming habituated to all these solutions.
Recently, in 2017 an aeroplane that took off from Queensland Australia had an engine malfunction, which caused a fire in the engine and the flight had to be diverted to Brisbane. After an investigation it was found that the engine malfunction was caused by the ingestion of a single medium-sized bird.
Airports all around the world try to prevent bird strikes daily, using many different tools and methods to disperse the bird population on their properties. However, airports still struggle daily having to use pyrotechnics and noise diversion techniques, leaving airports with an endless bird problem.
The best solution to protecting the airport from bird problems and the birds themselves is a new technology, bird deterrent lasers. This is an environmentally friendly solution as the laser is projected towards the area of birds, which is then perceived as a threat and the birds immediately disperse. This innovative technology is different to the common methods of bird dispersal because it is safe and the birds do not get used to the laser beam.
The London City airport is a good example as they have reduced low altitude bird strikes by 28% and Sarajevo airport in Bosnia has had a 75% reduction in birds due to the laser technology. Both these airports think using laser technology is beneficial to solving bird problems. More user case stories can be found here.
1: Skybrary, “Engine Damage”, 2018. https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/A333,_vicinity_Gold_Coast_Queensland_Australia,_2017
2: Source: Medical News Today,”Birds and their droppings can carry over 60 diseases”, 2014, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/61646.php