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World Birdstrike Association

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Director's April 2013 Letter

 Capt van Eekeren


Captain Rob van Eekeren - Executive Director, WBA.

You can find the December 2012 Letter here


 Switzerland – 08 April 2013



We have finalized the preparations for the 23-24 April meeting with many major stakeholders attending. The aim of this meeting is to find common grounds and support for the WBA initiative to develop a Joint Global Action Plan on the reduction of the bird/wildlife strike risk to aviation.


Already 25 participants have confirmed and a further 21 indicating that although unable to attend they  are interested in the process and learn of the meeting’s outcome. More important than the number of attendees / interested parties are the organizations they represent; you’ll find this list attached to this article. Albert de Hoon succeeded in contacting and keeping track of these organizations.

Luit Buurma arranged a beautiful setting for this meeting, Castle the Keukenhof located in the middle of the Dutch flower fields, in the midst of the flower season.
Most important, Luit also managed to obtain sponsorship for making this event possible. Our special thanks therefor go to the Birdstrike Fund; the Dutch Airline Pilots Association; Robin Radar Systems and To70 engineering for their support in making the meeting possible

So the setting is all arranged, now the important contents. All participants have received a discussion paper, the Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee and the Working Group. The goal is that the meeting agrees on the ToR’s. These ToR’s should lead to our goal: the development of a global action plan. The Working Group members will make the real difference on the contents of this Joint Global Action Plan and they  decide which subjects will be covered.

The discussion paper contains a draft outline of the action plan. In general it is intended that the action plan will contain two sections: First the Recommendations and second the Guidance material and Best practices.
Although already much of the required material is available, the real challenge of the WG will be to select, analyse and integrate existing best-practice and complete these into a comprehensive action plan. Undoubtedly, the expertise of WBA members will be of high value for the working group. So please do not hesitate to answer positively when the WG asks for volunteers to help on a specific subject.

Only by working together as pilots, airport managers, air traffic controllers, regulators, nature protectionists, bird/wildlife specialists, authorities and scientists, on a global scale, we will be able to make a real difference in increasing flight safety by reducing the risks posed by wildlife/birdstrike to aircraft operations.
Although nature and wildlife are extremely important, safeguarding human life should be our primary goal in this action plan.

Therefore will probably one of the first and more challenging tasks of the WG be to establish a method on establishing an acceptable risk factor for bird/wildlife strikes as guidance for authorities. Another important and surely debatable subject will be the liability issue. These should coincide with the more practical subjects on reducing the bird/wildlife strike risk.

In conclusion, there are exciting times ahead with an outlook of a great future. Let’s work on that, shall we?


Captain Rob van Eekeren
Executive Director




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