Bird strikes are a common problem at some airports, and local authorities have come up with several ways to keep birds away from runways. This one’s my favorite.
However, there’s an airport in Oregon that has a bigger problem on its runways. A much bigger problem.
Astoria Regional Airport is a joint civil-military public airport in Clatsop County, in the northwest corner of Oregon. The airport is in the midst of a lot of parkland and forest, and this year they’ve had a sighting of upwards of 10 deer on and near the runways, especially at nighttime.
Well, if you think a plane hitting a bird is a big deal, think of what a deer could do. As it is, a Learjet hit an elk there 15 or 20 years ago, and the plane caught on fire (everyone escaped but the plane was destroyed).
After the elk incident, they subsequently built a fence around the airfield and put cattle guards on the nearby roadways, but apparently that’s not stopping the deer this year.
“I don’t know whether the deer were inside the fence, and they multiplied over time, or they somehow found a way through, which is just as likely,” said airport manager Gary Kobes. “We’ve never seen any more than a couple out there at any one time, but apparently, with the sighting and my observation, the count is significantly high (and) we need to get it down.”
The deer, of course, are considered a potential hazard to the planes. So Kobes said they’ve gotten city approval for nighttime hunting from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. They have permission to kill up to 10 deer and can apply for more if needed.
They’ve rounded up volunteers for the hunts (I’m sure that wasn’t too difficult), which are expected to last several weeks.
The deer meat will be distributed to local food banks.
Feature Photo: Pixabay
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary