Officials using nonlethal firework tool to clear airports of geese

Birds pose serious threat to aircraft Published 6:43 PM EDT May 09, 2014

CINCINNATI —The population of Canadian geese has increased steadily over the years, and while their presence could be troublesome in some neighborhoods, they’re downright dangerous at Tri-State airports.

  • According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Canadian geese are one of the most adaptable and tolerant of all native waterfowl. If left undisturbed, a pair can easily become a gaggle of 50 to 100 in just a few years.

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Lunken Airport is now using a nonlethal tool to keep runways free of fowl.
“The guns that we shoot pop a firework object up in the air over the geese. It scares them and they leave. If we do it often enough, they’ve gone for the day and they are back the next day,” the manager at Lunken Airport, Fred Anderton, said.
Sometimes it only takes a shot; other times airport workers spend an hour or two chasing them off the field, but the reason they do it is for safety.
A glancing blow can bend the aluminum of the craft, reducing performance. In the worst case, a single goose can take an airplane down.
“Aircraft are built to be light; they don’t have real strong framework, and they need to be light in order to fly. When we see a goose on the runway, we do whatever we can to chase it away,” spokeman for the Clermont County Airport, Bill Anderson, said.
While the birds pose a threat, in most cases the geese population can’t be cut back, due to federal protection.

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