Bird Strike Conference Flies into Chicago

Thursday, Jul 30, 2009  |  Updated 1:44 PM CDT
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Bird Strike Conference Flies into Chicago

It is voluntary for pilots, airlines and airports to file reports about wildlife strikes, according to the FAA. Experts believe only about 20 percent of all strikes are reported, so they believe any attempt to compare airports or airlines can be misleading.

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Bird Strike Conference Flies into Chicago

Reducing the number of bird-plane strikes is the focus of a forum held this week in Chicago.
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In the wake of the near-disaster when a commercial airliner collided with geese in New York, then crash-landed in the Hudson River, a big conference on bird strikes is being held in Chicago today and tomorrow.

After the Hudson plane crash, the FAA released numbers showing bird strikes have more than doubled at major U.S. airports since 2000.  It seems the air industry is taking the news seriously.

Aviation Week is hosting the Bird Strike Prevention Forum to address the issue.

Aviation Week threw out some sobering bird strike numbers:

  • Bird strikes cost civil and military aviation more than $625 million every year in damages, delays and flight cancellations.
  • More than 219 people have been killed because of wildlife strikes to planes since 1988.
  • Bird strikes damage plane engines about half the time they occur.

The conference is meant to help airports and airlines come up with best practices for ways to minimize the dangers of bird strikes, including new technologies, managing bird habitats near airports, and monitoring which plane engines survive bird strikes the best.

NBC Chicago's Anthony Ponce will have details on the conference on the 6 p.m. news.

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