FAA Emphasizes Importance of Wildlife Reporting

 - June 17, 2013, 1:45 PM

The FAA replaced a 10-year-old advisory circular –AC 150/5200-32B–on May 31 to underscore the importance of reporting collisions between aircraft and wildlife. The new document also explains a number of recent improvements to the agency’s strike reporting system, in terms of what happens after a report is filed and, of course, how to file a wildlife strike report.

While reporting of wildlife strikes has increased significantly over the past few decades, the agency expresses concern that the reporting process is not consistent across the stakeholders in the National Airspace System (NAS). Not surprisingly, reports from large Part 139 commercial air transport airports far outweigh those from general aviation airports from which just 6 percent of total reports originate.

According to the FAA, wildlife strikes against aircraft cause $718 million in damage to civil aircraft annually and result in 567,000 hours of aircraft down time. About 97 percent of all wildlife strikes reported involve birds, about 2 percent involve terrestrial mammals and less than 1 percent involve flying mammals such as bats. Ducks, geese, gulls and raptors (mainly hawks and vultures) cause the most bird damage to civil aircraft in the U.S., while European starlings are responsible for the greatest loss of human life.

The FAA also maintains an extensive database of reported wildlife incidents.