Skift Take

Airports don't seem to care about the small safety infractions that are caused by wildlife each year, although the goose attack that landed a U.S. Airways flight in the Hudson should have sparked the conversation 3 years ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t keep good track of how many birds strike planes and its inspectors often aren’t familiar with wildlife, according to an inspector general’s report out Thursday.

Jeffrey Guzzetti, assistant inspector general for aviation at DoT found that FAA can’t be sure airports have good plans for coping with wildlife or that FAA inspectors who review the plans have expertise with wildlife.

From the report: FAA’s oversight and enforcement activities are not sufficient to ensure airports fully adhere to Program requirements or effectively implement their wildlife hazard management plans. FAA has not developed robust inspection practices, and its inspectors do not have the technical expertise to effectively oversee the Program. Inspectors we spoke with mostly relied on interviews with airport personnel to determine compliance with regulatory requirements, rather than reviewing strike and airport records. Also, inspectors were not maintaining adequate records of their inspection activities.

FAA’s policies and guidance for monitoring, reporting, and mitigating wildlife hazards are mostly voluntary, thereby limiting their effectiveness. While FAA recommends wildlife strike reporting, it does not require it. Consequently, not all airports choose to report all their wildlife strikes.

Full report below:

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