Aéroports de Montréal: falcons to avoid collisions with planes

News 9 July, 2017
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    QMI agency

    Sunday, 9 July, 2017 23:14

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    MONTREAL – The management of Aéroports de Montréal relies on peregrine falcons to scare birds off of runways at the international Airport Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau.

    “It was always, roughly, 60 to 70 bird strikes [annually]. What has changed a lot since that one uses these means, it is that there was no more bird strikes with birds that are large or that live in a group”, explained the director general of Falcon Environmental, Pierre Molina.

    Five birds work from sunrise to sunset, seven days per week.

    “There are birds that will go to height. And there, all the other prey items on the site will know that there is a predator around. They will therefore have an instinctive fear of this bird and they will have a tendency to leave the site immediately,” said Mr. Molina.

    Montreal was the first city in Canada to have recourse to the birds of prey in 1992.

    Other tricks, however, allow to keep the unwanted away from the tracks.

    “We’re going to shoot a rocket. It’s going from roughly 200 feet in the air, and it’ll make a noise, a hiss or a crackle. It allows us to act very quickly and in all weather conditions.”

    Applications that allow real-time taken data and have an idea of the real risk on the airport have also been created.