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Airport launches initiatives to protect wildlife, deter bird strikes

The Dayton International Airport is participating in a new, “cutting-edge” study that will deter hazardous wildlife around the airport.

The “Planes & Prairies: a DAY Safety Program” serves as a conservation effort and a life-saving measure. As the leading airport participating in this national study, DAY demonstrates a commitment to safe, effective travel while using its property to the fullest potential.

“We’re always looking for new ways to improve,” said Terry Slaybaugh, City of Dayton aviation director, in a statement. “This unique study is a great example of that.”

Airports are surrounded by agricultural fields or airfield turf, which provide habitat and food for large wildlife that can endanger planes, the airport said in a statement. Through the airport’s safety program, land is being converted to “dense, native tallgrass prairies that attract small, threatened grassland species while deterring larger, more hazardous birds.”

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Bird-strike events are common, and occur mostly on the ground or at low altitude, according to Boeing. Strikes cause safety and economic issues for the airline industry.

“According to Bird Strike Committee USA, an organization that was formed in 1991 to facilitate the exchange of information and promote the collection and analysis of accurate wildlife strike data, bird and other wildlife strikes cause more than $650 million in damage to U.S. civil and military aviation annually,” according to Boeing.

With the Aullwood Audubon Society, the Dayton airport maintains more than 400 acres of tall prairie grasses along Frederick Pike and West National Road.

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