2015 Dr. Vic Solman became one of the world’s top experts in preventing dangerous collisions between aircraft and birds, but this biologist got his start with fish. By the early 1950s, Dr. Solman’s interests while with the Canadian Wildlife Service switched to birds and this led him to the hazards caused by birds colliding with aircraft. Vic served on the National Research Council of Canada’s Associate Committee on Bird Hazards to Aircraft from 1964-1976 and was Chairman from 1973-1976. One of his first actions was to help write a chapter on Bird Hazard Reduction for the Aerodrome Manual published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Together with Mike Kuhring, he was instrumental in encouraging the creation of Bird Strike Committee Europe (first meeting in Germany in 1966) which evolved into the International Bird Strike Committee (1996) and World Birdstrike Association (2012). Using radar, Vic and his colleagues developed a Canadian Bird Hazard Forecasting methodology. Vic Solman died in Ottawa on 2 January 2013, at the age of 96.
2013 Hans Blokpoel Canadian Wildlife Service, retired Hans was a member of the Associate Committee on Bird Hazards to Aircraft and author of the landmark publication “Bird Hazards to Aircraft: Problems and Prevention of Bird/Aircraft Collisions” published in 1976. Following major population increases, he conducted a long-term study of Ring-billed Gulls and terns in the Great Lakes and wrote many papers on their biology and preventative measures for airports.
2011 Dave Ball Vancouver International Airport, retired Dave has been the Wildlife Supervisor at Vancouver International AIrport for 20 years. He has managed one of the largest and most complex airport wildlife programs in the world with 17 contracted wildlife controllers and a contract biologist. During his tenure the program has developed from one in which there was heavy reliance on lethal control to a more diverse program of active and passive wildlife control methodologies including the use of dogs, lasers and more. He was always willing to experiment with new methods without straying far from the tried and true approach to wildlife control at airports. Dave has announced that he intends to retire early in 2012. As a long time member of the bird strike community in Canada, it is fitting that he receive the first Bruce Mackinnon Memorial Award for excellence for his contribution over the last 20 years to air safety at YVR.