Brussels Airport tests detection system for birds

August 26, 2016

Brussels Airport has installed an innovative detection system that monitors and maps the behaviour of birds 24 hours a day. The American test installation will be stationed here for two weeks and will provide insight into the behaviour of birds on the airport. The airport operator is taking several preventive measures so that as few birds as possible are present and nest on the airport grounds. Thanks to the detailed information provided by this observation, alternative or additional preventive measures can be taken.

Although the shape of an aircraft is inspired by birds, the two do not go well together. Birds that get too close to an aircraft during take-off or landing, can be sucked into the engines. Not a good thing for either bird or aircraft.

That is why it is important to monitor the birds that are inevitably present on the airport and, most importantly, keep them away from the runways. The bird control unit of Brussels Airport is responsible for this. It uses various preventive measures to scare off the birds: playing predatory bird calls through the loudspeakers of its car, firing air cannons, luring larger birds into traps etc.

To measure is to know
Brussels Airport now wants to go a step further. The airport is currently testing an innovative detection system for birds. The radar detects birds to a height of 3.7 kilometres and at a distance of up to 5 kilometres.

The test installation at Brussels Airport will observe the birds 24 hours a day, both on and around the airport. The information about the type of their movements, their nests, behaviour and number can help the bird control unit to develop alternatives for chasing away the birds.

The test installation will be located at Brussels Airport for two weeks and will gain more insight into the presence and the number of bird movements on the airport.

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