Landsafe International has granted London Gatwick its first accreditation in recognition of the airport’s efforts to effectively manage the airfield habitat and reduce the risk of birdstrike.
Independent data has shown that more than 70% of birdstrike incidents occur within airfield boundaries. However, when coupled with effective bird control procedures, airfield habitat management can reduce birdstrike risk by up to 60%.
All UK airports are obligated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to assess the birdstrike risk at their aerodromes. Landsafe International is a global airfield habitat management and bird control accreditation, which assesses the efficacy of each airport’s bird control strategy.
As part of the thorough inspection process, Gatwick was audited on-site by Landsafe International assessors against a series of key habitat management criteria, including: grass species, long and short grass expanses, pest infestations, scrubland, pathways and site drainage.
The airport’s bird control management plan was also assessed, which includes a team of 48 operational staff undertaking dedicated 12 hour shifts on bird control duties, specialist bird control vehicles and equipment to emit ‘distress calls’ to disperse birds as well as detailed bird species logging.
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airside, Kan Ni, said:
“We are delighted to have achieved this new accreditation, which is important recognition for the airport to show how it has continued to go above and beyond its duties in this area.
“Our operational teams work incredibly hard around the clock to ensure the airfield’s habitat is managed effectively and in doing so, reduce the risk of birdstrike at Gatwick.”
Richard Stuttard, representing Landsafe International, said:
“Gatwick Airport is the first airport to undertake the accreditation process and Landsafe International is delighted that an airport with the stature of Gatwick and with its extremely proactive approach to habitat management and bird control, has agreed to be our flagship airport.
“Landsafe provides independent assurance to all interested parties that an airport is doing everything practically possible to minimise risk. We look forward to launching the accreditation globally in the coming months.”