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.
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