The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation plans to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) wildlife mitigation program.
The number of aircraft collisions with wildlife has risen rapidly over the last two decades, creating a growing safety concern. Public interest in this program has increased due to recent aviation bird strikes. These include the January 2009 bird strike that caused the crew of a US Airways flight to land in the Hudson River as well as the February 2011 bird strike that caused an engine failure on a Continental Airlines flight departing from Washington National Airport.
Through the Airport Improvement Program, FAA provides funds to airports nationwide for projects to help assess and mitigate wildlife hazards. Accordingly, the Office of Inspector General plans to review FAA’s implementation of its Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program. The objectives are to assess the effectiveness of FAA’s:
- policies and guidance for monitoring, reporting, and mitigating wildlife hazards;
- coordination with Federal, state, and local government agencies responsible for reducing wildlife hazards; and
- oversight and enforcement of airports’ adherence to wildlife hazard reporting, assessment requirements, and implementation of wildlife hazard management plans.