The National Academies

ACRP 10-30 [Active]

Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Airport’s Wildlife Hazard Management Program

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: Mead & Hubt
Principal Investigator: Lisa Harmon
Effective Date: 3/5/2021
Completion Date: 11/4/2022

The FAA/USDA Wildlife Hazard Management at Airports manual provides a framework to evaluate wildlife hazard management plans (WHMPs) and programs. The FAA’s Advisory Circular 150/5200-38, Protocol for the Conduct and Review of Wildlife Hazard Site Visits, Wildlife Hazard Assessments, and Wildlife Hazard Management Plans, defines minimum acceptable standards for field work and document preparation. While these publications provide valuable guidance, they do not include how airports can identify key metrics for success and risk reduction.  Simple reductions in the number of wildlife strikes may not adequately characterize an airport’s program effectiveness at reducing risks to aviation, human health, and safety.  
Beyond compliance, there are additional sustainability considerations of an effective airport wildlife hazard management program, such as, budget and resource allocation, revenue generation, legal constraints, environmental initiatives, and community sensitivities. A robust, proactive approach to achieving the safest navigable airspace and land-use is essential.  
The objective of this research is to provide airport operators of all types and sizes with guidelines and tools to implement an effective and sustainable* wildlife hazard management program.
A.    Guidelines should include, at a minimum, universal, scalable, step-by-step processes and procedures to determine the following:
  • A definition of successful and unsuccessful airport wildlife hazard management efforts, with specific examples across a range of airports and lessons learned;
  • A mandatory list and a prioritization of recommended metrics/KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and goals to include, at a minimum:
    • Strike data;
    • Risk analysis;
    • Economics, benefit-cost analysis;
    • Community and environmental sensitivity;
    • Operational impacts (i.e., flight delays, runway closures);
    • Stakeholder input and analysis;   
  • Best evaluation practices (frequency of reviews, i.e., quarterly or annual) to evaluate existing performance through audit tools; and
  • Corrective action through a continuous improvement process.  
B.    Evaluation tools should be scalable for all types and sizes of airports and may include:
  • Risk matrices (i.e., wildlife, habitat, economic benefit);
  • Development of leading and trailing KPIs;
  • Checklists/templates to determine how metrics/KPIs are developed and prioritized; and
  • Testing of the evaluation tool prior to final tool design.
*Sustainability is defined here as an all encompassing term to define the program to remain current, relevant and viable, while considering environmental, economic, operations, planning, and community engagement.

The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.

The research plan should include appropriate deliverables, for ACRP approval, that include at minimum:

1. An outline of proposed examples of lessons learned in airport wildlife hazard management efforts (i.e., case studies).  
2. An interim report that describes work done in early tasks with an updated work plan for remaining tasks along with a table/list of metrics/KPIs.
The research plan should include other appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed and (2) one face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting, as well as web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate. 
The final deliverables will include: (1) guidelines; (2) evaluation tools to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of their wildlife hazard management programs that meets the research objective; and (3) (a) a Summary of Key Findings (see Special Note B); (b) a Further Recommended Research Memo (see Special Note C); and (c) a technical memo titled  “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.

Status: Mead & Hunt is conducting the research - underway.  


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