Wildlife Hazard Assessments

The purpose of a Wildlife Hazard Assessment is to identify wildlife hazards on and within 5 miles of the aircraft operations area. Identification of wildlife hazards during the assessment process includes both wildlife and wildlife attractants.


Although wildlife may be present on or in the vicinity of the airport, the risk potential for an aircraft related incident with wildlife may be low due to low numbers of wildlife or the species of wildlife present pose little opportunity for a collision with aircraft. On the other hand, there may be a few individuals of wildlife present, but the risk for collision and damage may be high such as is the case with deer or other large animals.


A Wildlife Hazard Assessment, also, known as a WHA in the airport operations community, is a field study occurring over a 12 to 13 month period intended to collect information about wildlife activity on and around the airport. Since wildlife activity varies from month to month over a yearly period, the study captures information about seasonal residents, migrating birds, and changes in activity cycles of yearlong local species.


The information recorded includes types of animals present, numbers, type of activity occurring, location on or around the airport and time of day. Since wildlife habitat type, quality, and location is a driving force influencing the types of wildlife and its activity, the WHA includes an identification of habitat as well.


The data collected in the WHA process is compiled and analyzed to determine if and/or when critical periods exist when wildlife activity along with aircraft operations may pose an aviation safety risk. Problem wildlife species are identified as are habitat areas on and off the airport which are major wildlife attractants. Any needs for improvement by airport operations personnel in managing wildlife are also identified and recommendations made. The final WHA is submitted to the FAA for review and approval. If the potential for significant risk is identified, then a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan is the next step.


SER and its team of field biologists are experienced in the process of setting up the field procedures for WHAs, collecting the data, analyzing the information collected and compiling the results. Our WHAs meet the highest FAA standards and provide our clients with a product that results in managing airport wildlife toward reducing hazards and minimizing risks.

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