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.