Taoyuan airport’s bird strike prevention efforts seen as effective

China Airlines (CNA file photo)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has seen fewer incidents of bird strikes over the past year, thanks to control measures it has implemented in collaboration with local bird experts, the airport management company said Monday.

Taoyuan International Airport Corp. Vice President Jerry Dann (但昭璧) said the airport saw 23 bird strikes in 2019, about 40 percent less than in 2018.

In the first three months of 2020, there were no bird strikes at the airport, although that may have been as a result of the sharp drop in flights due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, he said.

“The measures are mainly aimed at altering the birds’ habitats, instead of driving them out or hunting them,” Dann said.

For instance, because cattle egrets do not like fields of tall grass, the airport has been allowing the grass near its runways to grow to a height of about 30 centimeters, he said.

The airport has also erected some perches on farmlands in the area to encourage black-winged kites to stay there instead of near the runways, Dann said.