The WBA... Aviation Safety Around the World
Captain Brian J. Greeves - AIPA Safety and Technical Consultant/ALR Course Facilitator.
First Officer Owen Hinson - AIPA representative to the AAWHG Executive Board.
Wildlife Hazard Management is not new to the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) of which the Australian and International Pilot Association (AIPA) is a member association through its umbrella organisation Australian Airline Pilots Association (AusALPA). IFALPA represents over 100,000 pilots worldwide and has 12 standing committees of which the Aerodrome and Ground Environment (AGE) is one. It is through the AGE Committee that IFALPA has developed policy, guidelines and training on Wildlife Hazard Prevention and Management (WHPM). Notables like Captain Paul Eshenfelder (Adjunct Professor at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and developer of its Airport Wildlife Training (FAA approved) Course); Captain Rob van Eekeren (recently elected as the first Executive Director of the World Birdstrike Association (WBA)); and Captain Heriberto Salazar (currently vice chair of the AGE Committee and AGE Wildlife Expert) have all been (or are) members of the Committee and passionate advocates for WHMP.
IFALPA (and AusALPA) run courses globally (and in Australia) for their airport liaison representatives (ALRs) and for participants from other organisations. This training includes modules on the wildlife hazard and, on the management and control measures. It is not an uncommon task for IFALPA ALRs in different parts of the world to try to persuade airports to take an active role in WHPM or to improve or enhance what is already being done. Not so the case in Australia. Many airports in Australia are already doing an outstanding job in implementing the “IBSC Standards”. This is perhaps illustrated by the work being done at Darwin Airport by Jill Holdsworth (AAA representative to the AAWHG) and her colleagues from Northern Territory’s Airports. Jill gave us a tremendous presentation at our recent ALR course in Melbourne outlining how the standards are being applied in practice in what is a very challenging wildlife environment. (Owen Hinson was also there and added some useful comments and feedback from the AAHWG Executive Board). I also attended the second meeting of Sydney Airport Wildlife WG and was very impressed by the work being done by SACL and its wildlife consultant in collaboration with stakeholders and adjacent land users.
Our aim in AIPA is to work with the airports and the other organisations represented in the AAWHG to make airports safer and more operationally efficient. In regards to wildlife, we have identified two main areas, where we can help:
1. The present detailed information on specific wildlife hazards at airports (such as in ERSA) needs to be given to the pilots in a useable format e.g. as part of the Jeppesen charts.
2. Pilots need to receive education and training on what to do with this information and treat the bird threat in the same manner they apply to other hazards, such as thunderstorm activity and wind shear.
This will now be the focus of our attention.