Beware The ‘Yellow Peril’
“So you just rush around the airfield in your posh Yellow 4x4s and then simply stand in the middle and ‘flap’ your arms in the air do you?”
Actually, Bird Control activities at RAF Coningsby are rather more scientific than that. The potential cost of our expensive and precious aircraft suffering bird strikes could run into millions of pounds a year, not to mention the danger to the lives of our aircrew.
The art of keeping airfields free from birds is more to do with not attracting them in the first place, rather than simply scaring them away once they have arrived. The main method of achieving this is by using the “long grass” policy, which involves maintaining the grass on the main airfield at a length of between 150-200mm.This creates an environment in which birds are uncomfortable as they are unable to keep a good lookout for predators. Primary food sources such as weeds and insects are also kept to a minimum, and other potential food sources are minimised by covering and regularly emptying rubbish bins and skips.
Although these specific tasks don’t come directly within Safeskys Bird Control Contract, we are always on hand to offer advice to the airfield operators and contractors. Our primary role is to move any birds that are too dull to know where they are not welcome! We do this by broadcasting the familiar sound recordings of predatory birds and by using explosive bird scaring cartridges. We also have a licensed shotgun at our disposal, which despite being a legitimate method of control, is only used in the most extreme circumstances such as ending unnecessary suffering by an injured bird. This restriction also ensures that the inevitable spread of shotgun pellets is minimised in accordance with sound FOD policy.
So I hope that you can perhaps now see that there is a degree of science behind what we do.
Jimbo the Bird-man, Safeskys Ltd.