Southwest Florida International Airport Wildlife Hazard Assessment

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A medium hub airport with more than 90,000 annual operations, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is located near protected lands and wildlife and wetland mitigation areas creating the potential for increased wildlife-aircraft strike occurrences.

In order to determine the best way to manage RSW's potential wildlife hazards, ESA was part of a team that conducted a wildlife hazard assessment (WHA) to assess the potential risk of wildlife-aircraft strike occurrences at the airport. Our staff performed observation and data collection for seasonal, local, and daily movement of wildlife on or near the airfield. The team collected and analyzed comprehensive historical strike data, which included developing methodology to collect wildlife observations on and near the airport using geographic information systems (GIS), analyzing the data, attending project meetings, and participating in document development. The project team worked with the airport's hazardous wildlife working group throughout the assessment. This participation enabled effective coordination across airport departments in obtaining data and developing recommendations for the WHA. The WHA was prepared in compliance with FAR Part 139 requirements.

The WHA has been approved by the FAA and the airport is implementing the assessment's recommendations to reduce the potential risk of wildlife-aircraft strike occurrences. The innovative GIS-based approach used on this project was the subject of a technical presentation at the 2010 Bird Strike Committee U.S.A./Canada Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Specialized Services

  • Baseline protocol and surveys
  • Community and ecosystem adaptation plans
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Wildlife hazard management assessments and plans