Bird Strike Association of Canada
We believe that the key to reduce damaging wildlife strikes to aircraft in Canada is by building a community of professionals to exchange ideas, experiences and co-operative efforts to better manage wildlife at all Canadian airports. It is through the ecological management of wildlife and the application of best practices that we will be successful in reducing strikes to aircraft. In pursuing these beliefs, we influence all aspects of airport wildlife management in Canada.
The Bird Strike Association of Canada (BSAC) is a leader in airport wildlife strike prevention. Through dialogue with the industry, the BSAC seeks and advances innovative ideas in aviation safety. Our mandate includes setting standards and addressing industry issues by formulating effective strategies and implementing change through regulatory means. Birdstrike Canada is “The Canadian Voice of Wildlife Strike Prevention.”
The Bird Strike Association of Canada is recognized by Transport Canada as Canada’s National Bird Strike Committee organized under the guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Canada was recognized as a leader in the field of bird-hazards-to-aircraft management as early as the 1960s, long before this subject was on most countries’ radars. We continued to be among the world’s leaders in this field as recently as the end of the last century. Sadly, we have lost this position in recent years and now the industry is asking for more and better guidance.
In 2017 the Bird Strike Association of Canada (BSAC) wrote a White Paper outlining aviation safety concerns due to inadequate airport wildlife management largely due to lax regulations (CARs). We submitted this paper to the Minister of Transport who decided to ignore our recommendations. While the government may believe that their regulations are adequate, recent court rulings indicate that both the regulator and the airport may incur liability in the event of a damaging accident if appropriate measures are not undertaken regardless of whether the “low bar” of regulations have been met. “Appropriate measures” go well beyond Canada’s regulations with respect to wildlife management.
The BSAC will continue to work with our member and non-member airports and other industry representatives to encourage airports to voluntarily adopt higher standards of airport wildlife management. A recent poll of membership showed an overwhelming support for the objectives of the White Paper amongst respondents. We encourage you to read the White Paper and decide for yourself. The future work of the BSAC will be towards decreasing the safety gap identified in the White Paper through improved training standards, wildlife plan review, and working with airports to determine how hazard identification and monitoring can be improved.
Join with us to rediscover the leadership role Canada once played and become an active industry member to improve safety at Canadian airports through better wildlife management practices. We can do this through a bottom up approach where individual airports and airport professionals voluntarily agree to higher standards of performance. This will have an impact on airlines and other aviation users of airports who demand (or should demand) the highest level of diligence required to minimize the risk of adverse effect events due to wildlife. This will also minimize your liability. We all want the greatest degree of safety reasonably possible. BSAC will work with you to make that wish a reality.
Report All Wildlife Strikes
All airports in Canada are required to report strikes to Transport Canada. We urge airports to report strikes to Transport Canada as soon as possible in case additional information is required. Strikes can be reported by clicking on the picture below.
Bird Strike Canada encourages the use of a slightly modified version of the bird strike definition in CARS 302.303.
Confirmed Strike (must be reported as a “strike” to Transport Canada)
- Any reported wildlife strike where evidence in the form of a carcass, remains, blood or damage to the aircraft is found;
- When dead or injured wildlife are found within 60 m (200 ft) of a runway or taxiway unless another cause of death can be confirmed;
- when a pilot reports a strike and is convinced to have hit an animal.
Unconfirmed/Possible Strike (must be reported as a “strike” to Transport Canada)
- Any reported wildlife strike where no evidence is found (i.e., when a pilot “thinks” the plane struck an animal, or may have struck an animal, but no evidence is found).
Near Miss/Close Call (may be reported to Transport Canada as “near miss”)
- Any reported or observed occurrence where wildlife was in the airspace of an aircraft and posed a risk of collision, but no collision occurred.
Note that dead birds found along the approach/departure ends of the runway but more than 60 m from the runway ends are likely to be strikes that occurred at higher altitudes and should be considered as strikes unless other causes of death can be confirmed.
Wildlife Strike Photo Data Base
Send your strike photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
We now have a data base of over 1000 photos of wildlife struck by aircraft at Canadian airports. Photo evidence of the species struck and the location/evidence on the aircraft is some of the most important data recovered from a strike event. Yet Transport Canada’s strike form does not allow the upload of photos; therefore, those data are generally lost. The BSAC Wildlife Strike Photo Data Base is an initiative to capture and save the strike photos which can then be linked to the Transport Canada Data Base. The additional advantage of sending in photos is that BSAC experts will check your identification of the species struck and offer their best attempts at an ID if different from yours. We urge every airport to send us photos of your strikes. The protocol for photographing, labeling and sending your photographs can be found here. And don’t forget, if you do not have enough remains to identify (e.g., just a blood smear or what we call “snarge”), you can send them to BSAC’s partner DNA lab at the University of Guelph to get them identified (usually) to species. Check here for more information.