Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Using New Bird Radar for Passenger, Plane and Animal Safety

SEATAC, Wash., Jan. 14 (UPI) — Seattle-Tacoma International Airport demonstrated an advanced bird radar Thursday that provides “as-it-happens” data to improve flight safety, officials said.

The avian radar provides wildlife managers with real-time displays of bird airport activity in overlays on a Google Earth map, said University of Illinois researchers, who developed the system.

Airport Managing Director Mark Reis said the avian radar is intended “to minimize bird-strike incidences.”

Bird strikes are a continuing problem to aviation, with more than 7,000 strikes across the United States voluntarily reported annually to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

On Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 successfully landed in New York’s Hudson River 6 minutes after takeoff after a collision with a flock of Canada Geese resulted in an immediate and nearly complete loss of thrust from both engines.

All 155 occupants safely evacuated the airliner, which was still virtually intact, though partially submerged and slowly sinking. The occupants were quickly rescued by nearby watercraft.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Categorized | Aviation, Birds
One Response to “Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Using New Bird Radar for Passenger, Plane and Animal Safety”
  1. Pilot136 says:

    Wow … what an achievement! After three years of ‘research’ and spending several hundred thousand of taxpayer dollars this bird radar finally has real-time data, but still cannot tell you the size of the bird, automatically assess the risk to aircraft, or give accurate altitude information. Meanwhile, the US made systems used by the USAF, RAF, NASA and overseas airports have been doing these things successfully since 2003 (see and


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