Effective bird deterrent against gull nuisance at Texel airport
The problem at Texel Airport is very specific. During a set period, there are gulls that increase the danger for low altitude bird strikes.
Location: Texel International Airport
Reason: Gull nuisance on runway
In use since: June 2016
Benefits for Texel Airport:
• A fast and effective dispersion of gulls
• Less time away from the control tower
• The Aerolaser HandheldMAX is a flexible solution
From April until June the cockchafer eggs hatch. Unfortunately, the cockchafer eggs have been laid in the grass runway. In sunny conditions the eggs hatch and the larvae emerge. This food source attracts gulls in large numbers. Since removing the source of the cockchafer eggs is too expensive, Texel Airport has used various methods to fight the annoying gulls. But so far, pyrotechnics and acoustics didn’t do the trick.
Texel Airport had a big interest in the Aerolaser HandheldMAX because they wanted to disperse birds from the control tower thus avoiding going into the car and leaving the tower unattended. Ed and his son Mike are managing Texel Airport, it is a family company. With the Aerolaser they dispersed the gulls in an easy manner without having to worry about losing manpower during peak hours.
An easy fix for a very specific problem at Texel Airport
The problem at Texel Airport is very specific. During a set period, there are gulls that increase the danger for low altitude bird strikes. Dispersing birds means leaving the control tower which is not really an option during peak hours. Texel Airport opted for a tryout period to see if the Aerolaser Handheld could help with their specific – but temporary – problem.
De Bruijn: “Ideally, you would fix the problem instead of the consequences. But getting rid of the cockchafer wasn’t an option. Before there were poisons to kill the insect, but this has recently been forbidden by the government. There are other remedies, but cockchafers are laughing right at you using that.” There is one solution on the market to get rid of the cockchafer, but it costs a lousy €1000 per hectare. “With a 50 hectare airport, this is simply too expensive for such a small timeframe.”
“We showed the laser to a lot of pilots and they were all very fascinated by the effectiveness.”
“Before the Aerolaser we mostly used pyrotechnics. Depending on the weather we went through about 30 cartridges a day. It worked, but not very effective. The laser is not only a lot quicker, most of the time it can be done from the balustrade which meant not having to leave the control tower.
We were positively impressed and we weren’t the only ones. We showed the laser to a lot of pilots and they were all very fascinated by the effectiveness.”
Scarce Starling flocks
The remaining months of the year the urgency for an Aerolaser is less high. “Occasionally we have some nuisance of birds. Starling flocks for example. But getting the car out in the direction of the runway is enough to scare them off.”
How about next year
“Next year we would definitely use the Aerolaser again. But we are secretly hoping for a new environmental and animal friendly way to get rid of cockchafers completely. Because they are not only attracting gulls, during the fall they are also destroying our grass. ”When asked if he would recommend the tool to other airports with comparable problems. “Yes. Definitely”, de Bruijn concludes in a heartbeat.