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Washington Post Report Shows Large Number Of Bird Strikes At BWI

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Damaged airplanes, passengers at risk. A new report reveals an alarming number of bird strikes at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Adam May reports on the problem and what’s being done about it.

The Washington Post discovers almost 1,000 bird strikes since 2000. Dozens of them damaged airplanes.

Across the street from a runway at BWI, families snap pictures of airplanes—but sometimes, they see something else.

“[I see] mainly geese,” said Butch Grummel. “Right around the airport and I’m here at least twice a month.”

A new report in the Post finds 975 collisions between birds and planes at BWI since 2000. Fifty-four of them have been damaging to the aircraft.

Around the airport, BWI officials have reduced the vegetation birds like to eat and there are fewer tall trees for birds to perch on. They also occasionally fire off loud noise cannons to scare the birds away.

No passengers have been injured at BWI, but some fear it’s a matter of time.

Back in 2009, a flock of geese blew out both engines of US Airways flight, leading to an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Earlier this year, another close call for passengers on a Delta flight. Delta 1063 had an engine failure on the right engine, declaring an emergency due to a bird strike. Just weeks ago, a plane in Colorado suffered heavy damage. With migration season upon us, more strikes are practically guaranteed.

A new Inspector General report criticizes the Federal Aviation Administration for the way it’s handled the problem. The FAA says they’re making improvements.

The FAA has spent nearly half a billion dollars over the past five years trying to control wildlife.

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