Wiese vor Terminal 1
Wiese vor Terminal 1

Bird & Wildlife

Bird & Wildlife Control

At the latest since the spectacular emergency water landing of an Airbus A 320 on the Hudson River in New York in 2009, which was triggered by a collision with a flock of Canada geese, a broad public has been aware of the risk posed by birds to air traffic. Large birds, or flocks of birds in particular, can cause damage to the aircraft and even turbine failure. Every airport is therefore legally required to take appropriate measures on its premises to minimise collisions with birds.

The Bird Control controls the flight operation areas, scares away birds by flashing lights or firing scare ammunition, and informs the traffic controller about large birds or flocks of birds. The employees also watch out for other wild animals on the airport grounds that could pose a danger to aircraft. If necessary, these are hunted.

The airport company works with the German Committee for the Prevention of Bird Strikes in Air Traffic (DAVVL) in order to minimise the risk of bird strikes. In a programme planned for several years, bird migration is documented by radar in the vicinity of the airport. If the results show it to be necessary, the company will install a permanent bird migration radar and develop a spatially based warning and forecasting procedure. 


Making the airport unappealing for birds

The grounds and surroundings of the airports are designed to be as unattractive as possible for birds for reasons of flight safety and are managed accordingly. Breeding or gathering places are lacking – as is a sufficient food supply. The grass on the areas between the runways remains relatively long (20–30 cm) in order to make it more difficult for birds of prey to hunt mice. Several foxes living on the airport grounds also reduce the mouse population. High grass growth is also avoided by flocking birds because they cannot recognise potential enemies in the grass. When planting, preference is given to woody and tree species that do not bear fruit and thus do not provide food for birds.

All buildings offer birds as little space as possible to perch or breed. The open parking garages have a front façade made of fine-mesh fabric and stainless steel nets that prevent birds from entering.


Richard Klauss

Richard Klauß

Bird & Wildlife Control

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