Bird-strike display aims to boost aviation safety

Monday, September 18, 2017

An airport in Dalian, Liaoning province, has turned birds that died after hitting planes into specimens for educational purposes. The 108 stuffed birds that died after flying into planes or getting caught in protective netting surrounding Dalian International Airport are displayed in a newly-built exhibition hall in the airport. Each specimen has a QR code, which visitors can scan to see information about its behavior, flying formations and migration patterns.

Ci Jia, deputy manager of the airspace clearance department of Dalian International Airport, said the 220-square-meter exhibition hall will help her department's members of staff understand more about the "enemies" they are fighting to ensure flight safety. In August alone, more than 50 airplanes that landed at the Dalian airport were found to have traces of birds hitting fuselages, according to the airport.

Ci said the birds that threaten the safety of flights at the airport range from sparrows and magpies to nighthawks, red-tailed butcherbirds, pigeons and little owls. Dalian, in Northeast China, is on a migratory route where birds fly in autumn on their journey from the north to the south, she added.

The airport first came up with the idea of putting the birds on display in 1999. "Our staff members found some of the dead birds around the airport were really rare, which prompted the idea to make them into specimens to let our employees know what birds they are dealing with," she said. Ci said her department has continued to research the birds to discover what factors, including insects, plants and soil, are attractive to them. They have used the findings to make the airport less attractive to those particular birds.

The airport is also equipped with various bird deterrents, including ribbons, sprayers, insecticidal lamps as well as pneumatic, laser and audio devices, which are also on display in the exhibition hall. Ci said the airport is becoming a platform for exhibition, scientific research, teaching and aviation security.

chinadaily.com.cn      Editor: Huang Mingrui   Ecns.cn