Bulleting No. 37 - Summer 2006
Airport Wildlife Planning and Management Regulation Now In Force
In this Issue:
A new regulation for improved aviation safety
On 17 May 2006 amendments to Parts I and III of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) came into effect. In concert with sections 322.302 to 322.308 of the Airport Standards -Airport Wildlife Planning and Management, this new regulation helps bolster aviation safety by requiring the development, implementation and maintenance of airport wildlife management plans at Canadian airports to which the regulation applies.
To enable airport operators to gather relevant data, develop compliant wildlife management plans and train staff, certain provisions of the new regulation will not come into force until 30 December 2006. Following that date, however, wildlife management plans must be available for inspection, and staff must be trained to fulfill the role they play as described in each plan.
This bulletin has been prepared to:
- remind airport operators about the new regulatory requirements,
- review development and highlight specific aspects of the regulation, and
- direct operators to the range of resources created by Transport Canada to help airports achieve regulatory compliance.
Full text of the new regulation, including a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis statement, is available at:
A growing threat
For decades now, all members of the aviation industry have agreed that wildlife and aircraft are incompatible occupants of the same airspace. This consensus is founded on a growing body of research that clearly indicates numerous complex and often inter-dependent factors contribute to an increasing risk of collisions between wildlife and passenger-carrying aircraft.
These factors include:
- Increasing size of hazardous bird populations
These populations include common species that are resident nationwide. The Canada Goose, for example, is estimated to have tripled in numbers from two million to six million during the 10-year period from 1990 to 1999.
- Increasing number of aircraft operations
The number and frequency of commercial passenger flights continues to rise despite anomalies such as the events of 11 September 2001.
- Ongoing urban and suburban development
Residential and commercial growth has in recent decades encroached on many airports that were originally located in relatively rural settings. As a result, airports have in some cases become sanctuaries for many species that are attracted to and sustained by airport lands.
- Vulnerability of aircraft in proximity to airports
Evidence clearly indicates that more than 70 percent of all bird strikes-and over 65 percent of strikes that cause substantial damage to aircraft-occur within 500 feet of the ground. Aircraft at these altitudes are most likely at or near an airport.
A considered response
With no previous regulatory requirement for airport wildlife programs, inconsistency prevailed in the application of management techniques throughout the Canadian airport system. The quality and effectiveness of these techniques varied. Among the more than 600 certified airports in Canada, many currently maintain wildlife management programs that meet or exceed requirements of the new amendment. At some airports, however, there are no preplanned measures to address existing risks.
The regulatory amendment ensures nationwide consistency and provides both effectiveness and flexibility in respecting and accommodating the varied site-specific scenarios that exist at each airport. The amendment acknowledges that individual airports face unique wildlife challenges, and must have the capacity to implement site-appropriate mitigation.
Most importantly, the regulation’s requirement for wildlife management is based on the risk at each airport. Where risk is determined to be low, wildlife management intervention will be minimal. As the level of risk to the public rises, so must airport operators’ ongoing actions to minimize risk.
The airport wildlife planning and management aspects apply specifically to sites:
- that within the previous calendar year had 2,800 or more movements of commercial passenger-carrying aircraft operating under CAR subparts four or five of Part VII;
- that are located within built-up areas;
- that have a waste disposal facility within 15 km of the airport’s geometric centre;
- that have at any time had an incident where a turbinepowered aircraft collided with wildlife other than a bird and suffered damage, collided with more than one bird, or ingested a bird through its engine; or
- where the presence of wildlife hazards has been observed in an airport flight pattern or movement area.
Data collection Section
302.303 of the new regulation requires all operators of airports in Canada to collect and report data on wildlife strikes to monitor risk. This minimal obligation ensures sufficient protection without imposing unnecessary costs1 on airports where risk is determined to be low.
Risk analysis Section
302.304 requires operators to which the regulation applies to conduct risk analyses based on information collected in accordance with section 322.304 of the Airport Standards - Airport Wildlife Planning and Management. The risk analysis must be conducted after consultation with a representative sample of airport users, and must address directly wildlife hazards identified onsite.
Section 302.305 establishes that operators of airports to which the regulation applies must, after 30 December 2006, submit a compliant airport wildlife management plan to the Minister upon request. The plan must also be reviewed every two years, and be readily available onsite.
Wildlife management plan
Section 302.306 sets out requirements for airport wildlife management plans, which must address all risks identified at each site. Among other things, the plan must:
- detail measures used by the operator to manage or mitigate risks;
- describe actions taken with respect to firearm use, wildlife control permits, wildlife management logs, etc.; and
- identify the personnel and agencies involved in wildlife management.
Section 302.307 describes requirements for training of all personnel who have duties related to airport wildlife management. Delivered according to a curriculum set out in the standard, training must be renewed every five years. Airport operators must also maintain records of all training.
Communications and alerting procedures
Section 302.308 calls for airport operators to ensure effective procedures are in place to inform pilots as soon as possible of wildlife hazards. These communications may be provided through air traffic services, direct radio contact, broadcast of airport advisories, UNICOM, etc.
1 A detailed cost-benefit analysis is contained in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement available at http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2011/2011-02-26/html/reg4-eng.html.
The airport wildlife planning and management amendment is the result of more than 10 years of research and regulatory development. Ongoing stakeholder consultation included meetings of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) dating back to 2001. Following pre-publication of the new regulation in May 2005, and in response to aviation industry concerns, Transport Canada made two significant changes:
- Airports are no longer required to seek ministerial approval for wildlife management plans prior to implementation.
- A delayed coming-into-force date was set for provisions that require airport operators to submit wildlife management plans and train individuals who have duties related to a plan.
Industry concerns regarding the costs associated with regulatory compliance are addressed fully in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement noted in the introduction. However, with damage to aircraft resulting from collisions with wildlife at Canadian airports exceeding $100 million each year, it is clear that industry losses could be significantly reduced through compliance with the new regulation.
More importantly, this CAR amendment counters threats to the lives of Canadians. Regulatory compliance will help bolster aviation safety by minimizing wildlife hazards and reducing the risks of collisions between aircraft and wildlife.
Stakeholders voiced concern about regulatory requirements to identify risks associated with wildlife hazards located beyond airport boundaries. The intent is to ensure operators are aware of all airport-vicinity wildlife activity that might impact onsite operations. Although operators have little jurisdictional authority to address off-airport hazards, many mitigation options do exist. These options include public education programs and briefing sessions for airport users, tenants and neighbours. Transport Canada has issued a new publication to help airport operators identify and mitigate off-airport hazards. Details on Safety Above All are provided below.
Departmental support and resources
Transport Canada has developed a range of resources to help airport operators with every aspect of regulatory compliance.
Wildlife strike data
This data is essential for the development of risk assessments required by the new regulation. As a result of Transport Canada’s recent updates to the wildlife strike database, reliable ten-year data is available to airport operators. This data can be obtained from Transport Canada’s Wildlife Control Specialist (see contact information on page 4).
Sharing the Skies - An Aviation Industry Guide to the Management of Wildlife Hazards (TP13549)
Respected internationally, Sharing the Skies is a key resource that provides comprehensive wildlife planning and management wildlife hazards, as well as specific measures that various industry stakeholders can undertake to help reduce risks.
Wildlife Control Procedures Manual (TP11500)
Recently revised to align with the new CAR amendment, this manual compiles information from a variety of Canadian and American publications to present up-to-date information on wildlife hazard management. This new edition is a tactical guide for airport wildlife management personnel, providing specific guidance on the management of individual species.
Airport Wildlife Management Plan Template
This is a valuable tool for any airport in need of a wildlife to ensure regulatory compliance. In most cases, operators need only insert site-specific information. The template was developed to assist operators of small to mid-size airports who may not be able to afford the services of a consultant, and who wish to conduct the risk assessment and write the management plan themselves.
Aviation - Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports (TP1247)
This publication describes airport operational characteristics that may be influenced by land uses outside airport property boundaries. TP1247 also recommends, where applicable, guidelines for land use in the vicinity of airports.
Safety Above All - A coordinated approach to airport-vicinity wildlife management
In concert with TP1247, Safety Above All recognizes that hazardous wildlife is often sustained by a wide range of food sources and safe habitats on lands adjacent to airports. The document helps airport operators describe and identify risks associated with land-use activities near the airport, as required in the new regulation. Findings can then be used to mitigate risks and improve operational safety.
Safety Above All will be available from Transport Canada early in 2007.
Airport Wildlife Management Bulletins
Beginning with #29, these Transport Canada bulletins address a variety of matters specific to the airport wildlife planning and management regulation. On an ongoing basis, the wildlife management bulletins also provide valuable information on broad issues related to airport wildlife control.
For more information on content in this bulletin, please contact:
Wildlife Management Specialist
Flight Standards, Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
Airport Wildlife Management Bulletin (TP 8240) No. 37
(PDF, 559 KB)