Airport Wildlife Management Training Requirements
Bulletin No. 39 - Fall 2007
In this Issue:
- A discussion of training requirements and resources related to airport wildlife management regulations in Canada and the U.S.
- Publication of new tools for the management of off-airport wildlife management hazards.
- A wrap-up of Bird Strike 2007, and information on plans for the 2008 and 2009 editions of this conference.
The value of specialized knowledge
Full provisions of the amendments to Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 302, Airport Wildlife Planning and Management, came into effect on 31 December 2006. In concert with the associated 322 Airport Standards, this new regulation helps improve aviation safety by requiring the creation, implementation and maintenance of airport wildlife management plans at Canadian airports to which the regulation applies.
While not harmonized, airport regulations in both Canada and the U.S. require that airport wildlife management practitioners be properly trained. In both nations, the requirement underscores the highly specialized nature of the work, which demands a unique blend of biological, ecological and ornithological knowledge; communication skills; and awareness of the aviation industry, firearms, regulatory matters and municipal affairs.
Comparing regulatory requirements
Comparing Canadian and U.S. airport wildlife management regulations reveals the differences between performance-based and prescriptive approaches. In the U.S., public-use airports are owned and operated by local authorities, while ATC is for the most part owned and operated by the FAA. Through de-regulation, Canada’s civil aviation system has evolved considerably since the early 1990s. The operation of most Canadian airports has been transferred to local private-sector airport authorities; air navigation services are now the responsibility of NAV CANADA, a not-for-profit corporation. The Minister of Transport continues to have authority over all matters related to aeronautics in Canada, although the department’s role is now related primarily to regulatory oversight rather than operational management of airports.
Under this performance-based regime, Transport Canada is adopting a system safety approach to the oversight of airports. Essentially, this approach holds that acceptable levels of aviation safety can be best achieved through system-wide efforts. Regulatory compliance is determined by stakeholders’ performance in meeting regulatory standards.
Canada: A performance-based curriculum
Section 302.307 of the new CAR sets out requirements for training of all airport personnel who have duties related to wildlife management as identified in the airport wildlife management plan. This training must be delivered according to the range of subjects set out in section 322.307 of the Airport Standards:
- nature and extent of the wildlife management problem;
- regulations, standards and guidance material related to airport wildlife management programs;
- bird ecology and biology;
- bird identification, including the use of field guides;
- mammal ecology and biology;
- mammal identification, including the use of field guides;
- any matter covered in the Wildlife Control Procedures Manual (TP 11500);
- any matter covered in the Sharing the Skies: An Aviation Industry Guide to the Management of Wildlife Hazards document (TP 13549);
- rare and endangered species and species of special concern, including related regulations and policies;
- habitat management;
- off-airport land use issues;
- active wildlife control measures;
- wildlife removal techniques;
- firearm safety;
- wildlife management planning; and
- development of awareness programs.
This broad general curriculum is suitable for all airport employees, and is meant to build a fundamental understanding of issues related to wildlife management. Under the performance-based model, however, personnel with specialized wildlife-management duties must receive additional training related specifically to their responsibilities. For example, airport wildlife staff members who work with herbicides or rodenticides must be adequately trained and accredited.
Following initial instruction, each wildlife management practitioner must be re-trained at least once every five years. Airport operators must maintain records of each employee’s training for a five-year period and provide this record to Transport Canada on demand. Regulations also oblige any person with duties in respect of the wildlife management plan to hold all required federal, provincial and municipal firearms permits.
U.S.: A rules-based approach
Airports in the U.S. that receive air carrier traffic are subject to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 139 — Certification of Airports. Airports in non-compliance with these rules risk de-certification and loss of federal financial support through such initiatives as the Airport Improvement Program and Passenger and Freight Charges funding.
Under the American regulatory regime, requirements concerning airport wildlife management are considerably more rules-based than in Canada. Title 14, CFR Part 139.337 states that airport wildlife hazard assessments must be carried out by:
- a wildlife damage management biologist who has professional training and/or experience in wildlife hazard management at airports, or
- an individual working under the direct supervision of such a biologist.
Part 139.337 also states that an airport wildlife hazard management plan must include a training program conducted by a qualified wildlife damage management biologist.1 No definition for “wildlife damage management biologist” is provided in the regulation; however, additional guidance is available in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5200-36. The AC uses the term “qualified airport wildlife biologist” to refer to all such specialists, and sets out their qualifications, some of which are:
- Meeting coursework requirements and gaining experience to qualify as a GS-0486 series wildlife biologist as defined by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, or designation as a Certified Wildlife Biologist by The Wildlife Society;
- Successful completion of a three-day airport wildlife hazard management training course acceptable to the FAA; and
- Creation of at least one wildlife hazard assessment, acceptable to the FAA, while working under the direct supervision of a qualified airport wildlife biologist.
With regard to training, the AC further explains that airport personnel actively engaged in implementing an FAA-approved wildlife hazard management plan must receive eight hours initial training and then eight hours recurrent training every 12 months. As in Canada, some parts of the initial and recurrent training may be provided by experts who are not in the aviation-wildlife field, such as state-certified hunter safety instructors who deliver firearms instruction, and university ornithologists who provide information on local birds. Compliance with training requirements is verified through annual
1 The FAA does permit a train-the-trainer approach. A qualified individual who has completed an FAA-approved three-day wildlife hazard management training course can in turn train airport personnel to deliver the required eight-hour initial and recurrent training. This ensures that new airport employees actively engaged in implementing a wildlife hazard management plan can immediately receive the training they need.
It’s important to point out that FAA advisory circulars present only recommendations to help interpret the rule. An airport certificate holder is free to take different approaches—to use wildlife management training experts who do not meet specific qualifications set out in the AC, for example—as long as the FAA can be convinced that they are as good as or better than those set out in the AC.
Where uncertainties arise in interpretation of either Part 139 or AC 150/5200-36, airport certificate holders may wish to propose their own measures to the FAA as equally effective alternatives.
Recognizing the value of effective airport wildlife management training, Transport Canada has prepared the following list of companies and institutions that are known to train airport personnel tasked with wildlife management duties. The list is not exhaustive, and does not constitute any endorsement of a training provider by Transport Canada. Rather, the list is intended to raise awareness among airport operators, who are further encouraged to:
- contact other Canadian airports to seek recommendations for training providers,
- verify that training curricula meet the criteria set out in the Airport Standards (section 322.307),
- ask for and check references of prospective training providers, and
- check the qualifications of individuals assigned to deliver training.
The American training resources listed in this bulletin deliver curricula that satisfy Canadian regulatory requirements. Although no Canadian providers currently deliver training for American airport wildlife-management practitioners, Canadian firms could qualify by submitting their curriculum to the FAA for approval.
Training providers in Canada
International Association of Airport Executives Canada
Contact: Tom Coupland
133 Rosslyn Avenue North
Note: IAAE Canada wildlife management courses are conducted by EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Training providers in the United States
Anyone—including consultants, colleges and universities—is welcome to develop and submit to the FAA for approval a three-day airport wildlife hazard management course that meets the requirements of AC 150/5200-36, Appendix B. A person who successfully completes this course, and has the required education and experience, is then qualified to provide initial and recurrent training to airport personnel.
Currently, FAA-approved three-day airport wildlife hazard management courses are available only from the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The USDA course is offered only to Wildlife Services personnel. Contact either of these organizations to obtain a list of qualified airport wildlife biologists who can provide required training to airport personnel.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Airport Wildlife Hazards Program
6100 Columbus Avenue
Sandusky, OH 44870
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
Professional Education Programs & Services
Office of Business Development and Corporate Relations
600 South Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL
New Airport Wildlife Management Resources Now Available
Now available on the Transport Canada website (as part of TP 8240, Airport Wildlife Management Bulletin #38), two new airport wildlife management resources introduce and explain the airport bird-hazard risk analysis process (ABRAP)—a comprehensive, multi-step tool to support collective efforts by airport-area stakeholders to reduce wildlife hazards:
- Safety Above All: A Coordinated Approach to Airport-vicinity Wildlife Management provides a concise overview of the process.
- The Airport Bird-hazard Risk Analysis Process is a technical master document that provides detailed guidance for the application of ABRAP.
Together, these documents detail coordinated measures that airport operators, property and business owners, and governments at all levels can implement to manage wildlife hazards in areas around Canada’s airports.
Bird Strike 2007
Kingston, Ontario played host to Bird Strike 2007 from September 10–13. This was the ninth combined meeting of Bird Strike Committee Canada and Bird Strike Committee USA (BSC-USA). Held in alternate years in Canada and the United States, the conference welcomed 289 delegates and 13 exhibitors from nearly 30 countries, including Brazil, China, Germany, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Singapore and Spain.
Delegates included airline pilots and personnel, aircraft owners, aircraft and component manufacturers, airport operations personnel, land-use planners, military aviation groups, university researchers, waste management operators, wildlife agencies and wildlife control specialists.
The event included more than 30 presentations on broad wildlife hazard issues, including avian radar technologies, wildlife control techniques, land-use management, training, engineering standards and habitat management. Conference papers are available on the Bird Strike Committee Canada website: http://www.birdstrikecanada.com/
Pacific Northwest Planners provided conference management; sponsors included Transport Canada, Department of National Defence, City of Kingston, DeTect Inc. and Margo Supplies.
Bird Strike 2008
BSC-USA teamed with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) for the 2006 bird strike conference in the United States. In this partnership, AAAE handled registration and meeting logistics while BSC-USA managed the technical programs and training sessions. These organizations will partner again for Bird Strike 2008, scheduled for Orlando, Florida, 19-21 August 2008.
Conference organizers particularly encourage presentations related to managing:
- surface water at airports to minimize bird attraction, and
- birds of prey at airports (eagles, vultures, osprey, red-tailed hawks, etc.).
Details regarding hotel, registration, exhibitors, early-bird training and the call for papers will soon be available at: http://www.birdstrike.org/
Bird Strike 2009
Changes are in store for the 2009 Canadian bird strike conference. Pacific Northwest Planners will continue to organize the biennial event; however, the company will also take on responsibility for lining up conference sponsors and selecting a host city and airport. Although Transport Canada will no longer provide financial assistance for the conference, the department will remain an active participant, continuing to chair Bird Strike Committee Canada, review conference abstracts, select presentations and assist with the conference mailout.
For more information on Bird Strike 2009, contact:
International Conference Services
2101-1177 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6E 2K3
For more information on other items in this bulletin, please contact:
Communication Centre (AARCB)
330 Sparks Street
North America: 1-800-305-2059
Airport Wildlife Management Bulletin (TP 8240) No. 39
(PDF, 1,747 KB)