Bird strikes increase after extension of runway at Tokyo-Narita, Japan

The number of cases of bird strikes near Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, Japan increased significantly since one of the runways was extended in late 2009, according to The Mainichi  Daily News.

Bird strikes avereaged 5.8 a year from 1991 to 2002. The airport just operated a single runway during that period. In 2002 a second parallel runway, 16L/34R, was opened. The runway, also known as “Runway B” was 2,180 m in length, compared to 4,000m long runway 16R/34L.

The number of bird strikes increased to an average of 26.3 cases per year from 2003 to 2008. Then, in October 2009, “Runway B” was extended to 2,500 m.  In the area of the extension,  noise protection embankments covered with trees were used to curb the noise.

To curb the noise, trees were planted in the area.  The number bird  strikes incidents rose to 46 in 2009 and 82 in 2010. The number of aircraft movements in 2010 was 191,459. For comparison, Los Angeles International Airport, CA, suffered 87 reported bird strike incidents in 2010 for a total of 433,452 aircraft movements.

The rise in bird hits seems attributable to the grow in airport traffic and the fact that the area near the runway extension has become more quiet and inhabitable for birds.

 

 

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