Problems with birds on the rise at many Canadian airports, says report

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - Reports of collisions or near collisions between airplanes and birds have reportedly risen at half of Canada's major airports in recent years.
One airport, Edmonton International, saw so-called bird strikes triple over the five-year period, rising from 12 to 36.
The number rose from three to nine at Fredericton International, according to an analysis of Transport Canada data by CBC News.
Ontario's London International Airport and Quebec City's Jean Lesage Airport saw a doubling of such incidents, rising to 15 and 16 respectively.
There have also been incremental rises at some of the country's busiest airports, including Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Richard Sowden, a bird and wildlife hazard specialist for the Air Canada Pilots Association, says the rise can be blamed partly on a growing bird population, but also ever-increasing traffic at airports.
He says of particular concern are Canada geese, which have multiplied at "incredible rates" over the last few years because of increased access to food and safe habitat, and they have very few predators.
Gary Searing, president of Airport Wildlife Management International, said the rising numbers may simply be the result of more awareness about the need to report such incidents.
"I think that the reporting has definitely improved and, therefore, we see more bird strikes registered in the database," said Searing.
A reminder of the potential dangers birds can pose to aircraft came Jan. 15, with the now-famous ditching of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 into New York's Hudson River.
Both engines lost power when the aircraft hit a flock of geese. Pilot Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger deftly landed the aircraft on the river, and all 155 passengers escaped shaken and bruised, but alive.

Organizations: Transport Canada, CBC News, London International Airport Jean Lesage Airport Air Canada Pilots Association U.S. Airways Flight 1549

Geographic location: TORONTO, Canada, Ontario Quebec City Ottawa Vancouver Montreal New York Hudson River

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