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FAA bird-strike decision enhances safety

April 24, 2009 – The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision this week to make its airplane bird-strike data public in the wake of the U.S. Air Flight 1549 near-disaster gives the public and researchers access to the government's records of where and when airplanes have struck birds over the last 19 years.


April 24, 2009
By Administrator

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision this week to make its airplane bird-strike data public in the wake of the US Air Flight 1549 near-disaster gives the public and researchers access to the government's records of where and when airplanes have struck birds over the last 19 years.

The FAA has been collecting data provided voluntarily by airports, commercial and private pilots, the military, and others since 1990.  Embry-Riddle has played an instrumental role in helping the industry and the FAA collect this data and manage the Wildlife Mitigation Web site since October 1999. This FAA-contracted Web tool allows airport personnel around the country to file online reports of wildlife strikes that occur at their facilities. It is managed by the university's Prescott, Ariz., wildlife mitigation experts and principal investigator, Archie Dickey.

The following statement should be attributed to Dr. Christina Frederick-Recascino, vice-president for research and federal government relations for the university.

"Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University applauds the FAA's decision to make its entire bird-strike database available on a public Web site today. We see this initiative to expand and improve the database search function and make it more user-friendly as an important step toward enhancing aviation safety.

This commitment improves Embry-Riddle's and other key researchers' ability to share important data and to develop new or improved wildlife mitigation programs and, ultimately, save lives. We look forward to working with the FAA to find ways to improve and strengthen bird-strike data reporting. 

However, we also agree with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's inclination to make bird-strike reporting mandatory. Mandatory reporting will improve the industry's ability to accurately measure wildlife threats and, more important, improve the integrity of the data, which can be distorted if only a minority of airports are reporting the bulk of wildlife strikes."

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering, educating more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs. Doctoral programs in aviation and in engineering physics are pending approval by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for the University to offer programs at the doctoral level. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu .