A Land-Use Perspective for Birdstrike Risk Assessment_ The Attraction Risk Index.

Coccon, Francesca; Zucchetta, Matteo; Bossi, Giulia; Borrotti, Matteo; Torricelli, Patrizia; Franzoi, Piero, 2015, A Land-Use Perspective for Birdstrike Risk Assessment_ The Attraction Risk Index., PloS one 10 (2015): e0128363. doi_10.1371/journal.pone.0128363,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/332148

Collisions between aircraft and birds, birdstrikes, pose a serious threat to aviation safety. The occurrence of these events is influenced by land-uses in the surroundings of airports. Airports located in the same region might have different trends for birdstrike risk, due to differences in the surrounding habitats. Here we developed a quantitative tool that assesses the risk of birdstrike based on the habitats within a 13-km buffer from the airport. For this purpose, we developed Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) with binomial distribution to estimate the contribution of habitats to wildlife use of the study area, depending on season. These GLMs predictions were combined to the flight altitude of birds within the 13-km buffer, the airport traffic pattern and the severity indices associated with impacts. Our approach was developed at Venice Marco Polo International airport (VCE), located in northeast Italy and then tested at Treviso Antonio Canova International airport (TSF), which is 20 km inland. Results from the two airports revealed that both the surrounding habitats and the season had a significant influence to the pattern of risk. With regard to VCE, agricultural fields, wetlands and urban areas contributed most to the presence of birds in the study area. Furthermore, the key role of distance of land-uses from the airport on the probability of presence of birds was highlighted. The reliability of developed risk index was demonstrated since at VCE it was significantly correlated with bird strike rate. This study emphasizes the importance of the territory near airports and the wildlife use of its habitats, as factors in need of consideration for birdstrike risk assessment procedures. Information on the contribution of habitats in attracting birds, depending on season, can be used by airport managers and local authorities to plan specific interventions in the study area in order to lower the risk.

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