Publications

Abstract:

Aircraft – bird collisions are often the cause for aircraft accidents near airports. To monitor bird abundance and their behavior is essential in assessing the risk they pose towards aircraft and human lives. This study was conducted in the frame of the Wildlife and Aircraft Research Namibia Project (WARN) from January until June 2014 at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) to gain knowledge for further management strategies.
By using the Variable Circular Plot (VCP) method, the diversity of birds, both for the apron and an area with unmown grassland at HKIA was determined.
During this study, 1161 individual birds were recorded for Hosea Kutako, which belong to 40 bird species, of which 18 were recorded on the apron and 35 on the unmown grassland.
The birds recorded on the apron were mainly feeding (57%) on arthropods which were attracted by the apron lights, compared to behaviors at the unmown grassland, which was mainly perching, and flying but also nesting and displaying. Of the recorded species on the unmown grassland, only 5 of 35 species can be rated as high risk species, while there were 8 of 18 high risk species recorded on the apron.
The apron of Hosea Kutako is an attraction to high risk insectivorous species as a result of the presence of arthropods attracted to the apron lights and the results of this report can assist Namibian Airports Company (NAC) to consider the implementation of management strategies like the filtering of the apron lights at HKIA to emit a wavelength similar to yellow or orange lights reducing the number arthropods and birds feeding on them as suggested by D’Alton (2013).

Author(s):

William Lloyed

Abstract:

Accidents involving aircraft and wildlife (especially birds) have been a problem since the earliest days of manned flight and are viewed as serious hazards in modern civil and military aviation. Over 90% of collisions with wildlife occur on take-off, landing, climb or final approach as these are relatively low altitude activities. In Namibia, birds are obviously by far the greatest risk, although mammals such as jackal, warthog, aardwolf, and mongoose are known to have traversed the runways and aprons of Namibian airports from time to time. Key habitat factors in and around the airports are assessed for their risk of causing aircraft-wildlife collisions. To reduce such risks management actions are implemented which leads to early reduction of the risk of collisions.

Most current actions taken by airports address symptoms of the problem, dealing with wildlife once they occur on the property. By employing environmental risk assessment methodology, a proactive approach is used to systematically reduce the risk of aircraft-wildlife collisions. This paper will show how to address problems as close as possible to their root cause, using an holistic integrated approach inspired by environmental assessment science to systematically address hazards which are expected to carry a risk of causing wildlife collisions with aircraft.

Author(s):

Morgan L. Hauptfleisch

Abstract:

Of all the wildlife we have in Namibia, probably the most unrestricted (because they can fly) are birds.  Roads, fences, rivers and mountains cannot stop their movement.  They choose where to go based on what’s best for their survival, and that is why they are wonderful indicators of changes in our environment. When birds disappear from an area it is usually a warning sign that something is wrong. For this reason I love birds.  I remember documenting my first bird observations in the garden when I was 9 (a bit nerdy I know, but a scientist is born, not made).

Author(s):

Morgan L. Hauptfleisch

Abstract:

An analysis, the first of its kind in Namibia, was conducted on five years’ (2006–2010) Aircraft–wildlife collision (AWC) records from two Namibian airports. These records were compared to AWC reports of three Namibian airlines. Trends in annual and seasonal occurrence of AWCs and species responsible for collisions were investigated. A total of 55 and 73 AWC incidents were reported at Hosea Kutako and Eros airports, respectively. No year-on-year trends in reported AWC incidents could be established, with the highest percentage recorded in the first year (37% of all records). By cross-referencing reports from different entities we estimate that only 19% of incidents were recorded over the study period. Both birds and mammals were involved in AWCs during the period with the two most common species being crowned lapwing (Vanellus coronatus) (16% of all incidents at Hosea Kutako and 69% of incidents at Eros) and helmeted guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) (9% and 8%, respectively). Unidentified species accounted for, on average, 25% of incidents at Hosea Kutako and 9% at Eros. This analysis provides public and scientific awareness on AWCs as a form of human–wildlife conflict and provides focus for further research into habitat and environmental factors which attract species frequently involved in aircraft collisions. The study sets a baseline of collision frequency against which the success of future airport wildlife minimization efforts can be measured.
Key words: aircraft, wildlife, collision, bird strike, reporting, conflict.

Author(s):

Morgan L. Hauptfleisch, Nico L. Avenant, Alton Tsowaseb