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Report: FAA not doing enough to reduce bird strikes


The FAA received reports of nearly 10,500 bird strikes in the U.S. last year, a five-fold increase since 1990, according to a new report from a federal oversight office. And those rising numbers are bad news for the agency that is supposed to track bird strikes and mitigate the problem, the report said. In short, the report said the FAA isn’t doing enough to reduce the numbers of bird strikes. But the FAA said it has already taken steps the report recommends, like improving a database that collects details on bird strike events, and documenting which strategies work well to keep birds away from airports. Often using federal funds, airports have tried a variety of tactics, from reducing standing water and tall grasses to installing noise cannons and using chemicals to ward off birds. Airports generally can’t kill nuisance birds, since many are protected by various federal laws. Many bird populations have recovered in recent decades as pesticides like DDT have been banned. And some of the populations that have rebounded the most are the ones that also cause the most damage in bird strikes: Canada geese and birds of prey.