ERAU Establishes Wildlife Hazard Center

The January 15 ditching of a US Airways Airbus earlier this year highlighted the growing problem of bird strikes. Now, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has established a center for studying wildlife hazards, including bird strikes. Aviation safety has always included wildlife experts-not just to mitigate bird strikes in flight, but also to minimize runway encounters with animals on the ground. Among the work on the center's agenda is exploring radar technology to better detect flights of birds. Less technical study involves researching the precise height to mow airport grass to deter specific species of birds from nesting. Archie Dickey, ERAU professor of environmental science and head of the new center, said, "The US Airways landing in the Hudson River was the wake-up call that we needed to accelerate our plan to create this center, which was several years in the making." Dickey created the FAA voluntarily reported wildlife strike database a decade ago and still manages it for the agency.