The National Academies

ACRP 04-17 [Final]

Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: BASH Inc.
Principal Investigator: Russ DeFusco
Effective Date: 1/17/2014
Completion Date: 6/15/2015

ACRP Report 145 introduces and guides the application of a risk-based approach to wildlife hazard management programs (WHM) and outlines additional steps for integrating such programs into an airport’s Safety Management System (SMS). This guidance includes a description of an SMS approach to wildlife hazard management and includes a glossary of key terms; a listing of relevant resources and databases; an overview description of four components of SMS; a comparison of current wildlife hazard management standards to those used in SMS; a description of innovative protocols and procedures--in narrative and visual formats--for developing wildlife hazard management programs in the style of SMS; and applicability to airports of various size and operations regardless of SMS implementation, wildlife program, or Part 139 certification.  This report also provides a customizable tool - Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT) and templates that are usable for assessing wildlife risk at airports. The tool includes a resource summary of existing database wildlife hazard descriptions; numerical values for hazard severity and likelihood by species, derived from the FAA Wildlife Strike Database; and a practical, simplified electronic or manual risk analysis template, which includes the incorporation of variables on or off the airport.
The presence of wildlife near airports is a safety issue and carries with it growing economic losses in the aviation industry. Airports may soon be required to adopt a proactive risk-based approach like an SMS to manage many operational aspects of the airport business, including wildlife.
The applicability and efficacy of utilizing data-driven, risk-based methodologies for wildlife management has been debated due to the highly variable nature of wildlife presence related to various species, size, flocking and movement patterns, season, time of day, region, disturbances in the vicinity of airports, and other related factors. To date, little guidance was available on how to apply SMS principles to wildlife hazard management programs at airports of various sizes and operations.
Under ACRP Project 04-17, research was conducted by BASH Incorporated in association with TEWS Incorporated, Dynamx Consulting, and Landry Consultants LLC.  A gap analysis for wildlife management and SMS was conducted at a variety of airports that had current SMS projects, Wildlife Hazard Assessments (WHA) or Wildlife Hazard Management Plans (WHMP), criteria were used that determined if candidate airports had the necessary information, involvement in SMS, or wildlife hazards that would allow the research team to use such airports in their model development and/or model test.   Development of the tool - WHaMRAT was based on input from the participating airport surveys and the experience and expertise of the research team. 
STATUS: The Research has been published as Report 145.  

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