Birdstrike reporting has become easier since 1 January 2008, when the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) introduced a new online reporting system for the aviation community. The preferred method of reporting an event of a bird striking a plane is now by completing a form on the CAA’s website. To date, aerodromes, aircraft operators and private pilots have filed birdstrike reports by completing the CA1282 Birdstrike Occurrence Form, which is faxed or posted. The online reporting form is now available at: http://www.caa.co.uk/birdstrikereporting.
Birdstrike reporting became mandatory in 2004. A birdstrike report must be submitted to the CAA unless the strike has already been reported as an accident or damage occurrence through the CAA’s Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) scheme. Since reporting was made mandatory, there has been a 67 per cent increase in the number of reports received and 1,780 reports were received in 2006. However the number of birdstrikes classified as ‘serious’ has remained unchanged, averaging 57 per annum. Modern aircraft engines are designed to be resistant to multiple strikes by birds of up to 5.5lbs in weight.
This new online reporting procedure will provide a more efficient way of managing the data received. The maintenance of an accurate and comprehensive birdstrike database enables the CAA to provide information and advice to aerodrome licensees that can assist them in their habitat management and bird dispersal techniques.
The CAA conducted a trial at nine UK airports (see Notes to Editors) between August 2006 and October 2007, when reporters were asked to complete and submit an online version of the CA1282 Birdstrike Occurrence Form. This followed the success of an online reporting scheme used in the USA and Canada.
Nick Yearwood, from the Aerodrome Standards Department at the CAA, believes that the implementation of an automated reporting system will be mutually beneficial to both the CAA and the aviation community. He said: “Prior to birdstrike reporting becoming mandatory, there was a large degree of under reporting. We believe that this automated procedure will make it quicker and easier for pilots and aerodrome officials to file birdstrike reports. This will ensure that we have a more accurate record of birdstrike events that we can share with the industry in order to improve bird control procedures.”
In 2003 the Air Navigation Order was amended to mandate the reporting from January 2004 of all birdstrikes, regardless of whether damage was caused to the aircraft. This requirement was introduced to gather more information on birdstrikes, enabling new strategies to be developed to bring the incident rate down.
The MOR scheme requires that all safety hazards or potential hazards must be reported to the CAA’s Safety Investigation and Data Department. The scheme applies by law to operators of all UK-registered aircraft, maintenance organisations and air traffic services providers in the UK. The reported information is used to support flight safety performance improvements. Since the scheme’s launch in January 1976, the CAA has catalogued over 160,000 MORs, covering more than 700 different aircraft types.
The Aerodromes that contributed to the Online Reporting trial were Stansted, Southampton, London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Doncaster-Sheffield, Bristol, London City and Cardiff.
Birdstrikes have been a hazard to aircraft since the earliest days of flying. The CAA’s Safety Regulation Group has a number of initiatives in place to tackle the problem. It also requires combined action by airports, landowners, the Department for Transport, local authorities and planners. These requirements and guidance are set out in the report CAP 772 Birdstrike Risk Management for Aerodromes.
Bird dispersal and control measures practised by airports have proved very effective. UK airports have developed, together with the CAA, a series of programmes to reduce the risk that birds pose within the airfield perimeter. Historically the biggest risk in the immediate vicinity of an aerodrome has been relatively smaller birds such as gulls. Thanks to the effectiveness of airport control measures, this risk has been greatly reduced.
CAA guidance concerning the management of birdstrikes is contained within CAP 772 (Birdstrike Risk Management for Aerodromes).
For further details concerning birdstrikes see the CAA Website at http://www.caa.co.uk/birdstrikes or contact the CAA’s Aerodrome Standards Department via email at [email protected]
Source: Civil Aviation Authority UK
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