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Page 1 Sacramento County Airport System Wildlife Hazard Management Program Hazardous Wildlife Control at Sacramento International Airport Sacramento Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Page 1 Sacramento County Airport System Wildlife Hazard Management Program Hazardous Wildlife Control at Sacramento International Airport Sacramento Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Page 1 Sacramento County Airport System Wildlife Hazard Management Program Hazardous Wildlife Control at Sacramento International Airport Sacramento Environmental Commission – September 20, 2010 Hazardous Wildlife Control at Sacramento International Airport Sacramento Environmental Commission – September 20, 2010

2 Page 2 SCAS Mission Statement Consistent with our communitys values, we will operate, maintain, and develop the County Airport System in a safe, convenient and economical manner. We will be a leader in the airport industry by exceeding expectations and providing customer service second to none.

3 Page 3 Aerial View of SMF, May 2004 Most of the land south of I-5 and north of Elverta Road to Sutter County is undeveloped Airport property. Includes some parcels in Sutter County, such as Rio Ramaza Buffer land was acquired to ensure land use compatibility with aircraft operations (no housing), and will remain undeveloped.

4 Page 4 SMF Critical Zone and 5-Mile Radius 10,000-foot Critical Zone Five-Mile General Zone

5 Page 5 FAA Can Require a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP) If Conditions Warrant Purpose Describe the tools the airport will use to control and reduce the threat of airfield incursions by hazardous wildlife and collisions between wildlife and aircraft. Rules & Regulations Wildlife Identification & Training All of the Items in the Wildlife Hazard Assessment (WHA) Current strikes, control actions and observations (12 months) Trends, abundance in habitat types, seasonal variances Recommended action items for reducing wildlife hazards Passive and Active Management Techniques Wildlife Population Management Habitat Modification Land Use Changes

6 Page 6 Sacramento International WHMP First WHMP for SMF was approved in Wildlife strikes at SMF between 1988 and 1992 averaged 19/year, but air traffic volume was much lower then. 1996: First major revision approved by FAA. Major update began in 2005, completed Professional Wildlife Team of Biologists County Airport System – 3 positions Contracted USDA – APHIS – WS – 1 position

7 Page 7 FAA Is Focusing On the SMF Hazardous Wildlife Situation Despite the resources deployed, FAA has determined that the SMF bird strike risk remains serious (based on reported strikes): Ranks #1 in FAA Western - Pacific Region Ranks #6 in the nation Ranks #2 in the nation for damaging strikes SMF is currently under scrutiny by FAA, which has informed County Airport System that improvements are needed.

8 Page 8 Hierarchy of SMF Wildlife Hazard Management Habitat Modification and Management (Passive measure) Goal: reduce wildlife attraction. Regular, ongoing maintenance of vegetation. Harassment (Active measure) Deter birds and mammals from returning to the airport by making their experience unpleasant. Removal (Active measure – always last resort) Identify the proper measure to eliminate the individual as a hazard from the airport.

9 Page 9 Habitat Modification to Reduce Wildlife Attraction to Airport Installed 2-foot below-grade concrete barrier on new west perimeter fence & culvert grates to exclude coyotes and feral dogs Allowed all tenant agriculture leases to expire in 2007 because FAA discourages agriculture on airport land. Virtually all crops attract birds because of seeds, fruit, and post-harvest crop remnants. Plowing, disking and siphon (flood) irrigation can induce invertebrate activity that attracts birds. Review landscaping plans to avoid fruit-bearing trees and trees with predominantly horizontal limbs that facilitate roosting/nesting Oppose landfills and other non-compatible land uses on or near airports Standing water and retention basins (defined as holding water more than 48 hours) Sewage and drinking water treatment plants Lakes at housing developments

10 Page 10 Land Management Activities Ditch Maintenance Upland Vegetation Management

11 Page 11 Mowing To Reduce Bird Attraction FAA-prescribed vegetation height is between 6-12 inches

12 Page 12 Animal Behavior Modification Physical exclusion devices Auditory scaring devices Repellents Visual scare devices Pyrotechnics Propane Cannon Auditory Scare Device

13 Page 13 Animal Behavior Modification Examples

14 Page 14 Animal Behavior Modification Examples

15 Page 15 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Depredation Permit Allows Lethal Removal Current permit in effect until Sept 2010 Applied for and reviewed annually Establishes conditions for taking, trapping or relocating migratory birds Includes conditions for complying with Migratory Bird Treaty Act Authorizes methods of take Euthanasia Lethal traps Egg addling/destruction Shooting (most common) Toxicants

16 Page 16 Hazardous Species of Most Concern - SMF Waterfowl Gulls Sparrows, Larks, and Finches Raptors Swallows Blackbirds & Starlings Corvids Columbids (doves and pigeons) Wading Birds (White-faced Ibis, Great Egret, Heron) Shorebirds (Killdeer) Other Avian Species (Turkeys, Pheasants, Quail) Mammals & other Non-Avian Species

17 Page 17 Questions and Answers Mallard in Wing

18 Page 18 End of Presentation – Next slides to assist with questions

19 Page 19 Professional Wildlife Team All Wildlife Team Personnel meet the US Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards for GS-0486 Series Wildlife Biologist Sacramento County Airport System (3 positions) Senior Natural Resource Specialist Coordinates Wildlife Hazard Management Program under direction of Manager – Planning and Environment BS, Wildlife Management Environmental Specialist III BS, Biology USFWS-approved Biological Monitor for Construction Projects and Maintenance Activities Planner III BS, Fisheries and Wildlife MS, Urban and Regional Planning (Environmental) US Department of Agriculture – APHIS – Wildlife Services (1 position) Wildlife Biologist

20 Page 20 Sensitive Biological Resources Training Wildlife Hazard Management Training – Required by FAA Includes: Species, Regulations, and Management Tools Annual 8-hour training by qualified staff biologist meeting FAA requirements. Environmental Awareness Training for Airport System Maintenance staff Swainsons hawk, Western Burrowing Owl, and giant garter snake Bi-annual training by staff biologists Net Effect: training three times/year by experienced wildlife biologists.

21 Page 21 Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Risk is Increasing in North America Airports are typically located in flat, open areas needed for aircraft approach, departure zones and circling airspace. Such areas often include wetlands that attract birds. Most aircraft now have just 2 engines, resulting in greater consequences from bird ingestion, as shown by US Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, Increased population of some bird species most hazardous to aircraft. Example: Canada Goose. Aircraft are getting quieter and faster; birds are less able to detect an approaching aircraft.

22 Page 22 Increasing BASH Risk - continued Growing dominance of low-fare airlines means more people are flying, and therefore more flights. More wildlife refuges and preserves are being created. Many are near airports. Wetlands are receiving greater protection because of federal Clean Water Act, which has benefited wildlife. Banning of certain pesticides has provided protection to birds, allowing population increases. Sources: (1) Wildlife Hazard Management at Airports – A Manual for Airport Personnel; FAA and USDA Wildlife Services, 2 nd Edition, July (2) Striking Developments, Airport Magazine, June/July 2007.

23 Page 23 FAA BASH Database - USA Reported Annual Bird Strikes Winter months (Nov – March) are highest period at SMF (migratory bird season), followed by June – August (small non-flocking birds such as swallows)

24 Page 24 Active Management Techniques Non-lethal Techniques Lethal Techniques Identify Problem Problem Assessment Assess Potential Actions Monitor Provide Assistance Choose Appropriate Actions Exhibit 5-1 WS General Professional Action Model

25 Page 25 Ranking of Species Groups Nationally Relative to Aircraft Hazard Ranking based on 3 criteria, using FAA National Wildlife Strike Database, January 1990 – April 2005: Damage Major damage Effect-on-flight Ranking Order: Deer Vultures Geese Cormorants/Pelicans Ranking Order (continued): Cranes Eagles Ducks Osprey Turkeys/Pheasants Herons Hawks Gulls Rock pigeons Other birds and mammals

26 Page 26 Memorable Bird Strikes - SMF 22 November 1996 MD-80 climb; fan blade & engine damage Gulls, Runway down ½ hr 25 February 2000 B-737 takeoff; damage 7 fan blades & plugged air cooler Unknown species 8 December 2004 MD-80 climb; random wing damage (punctured/dented) Northern Pintail, $200, November 2005 (Thanksgiving Day) A-320 climb; damage to radome, nose, engine, fuselage Northern Pintail, $110, December 2005 B-737 climb; engine damage, passengers transferred to new flight Unknown species, $210,400

27 Page 27 Conclusion Hazardous wildlife presents a clear and (now) well understood risk to the traveling public. Consistent with our Mission Statement, the Sacramento County Airport System has implemented a comprehensive program for protecting the traveling public, and relies upon all of the tools available to us to reduce the risks associated with hazardous wildlife. State legislation has been enacted (SB 481) to clarify in the Fish and Game Code that airports are allowed to deploy those measures permitted under their federal fish and wildlife permit (depredation permit) issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). »Revised


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