In general, birds are a major concern when wildlife encroaches on airports. Bird attacks can seriously damage aircraft, even destroying engines and shooting down aircraft in rare cases. However, mammals also pose a threat when freely roaming the runways at airports. an elk recently breached the perimeter fence at a Connecticut airport and was stopped before it could cause significant damage.
Last Friday, a moose was spotted wandering around Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Connecticut. WFSB report that airport personnel contacted the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) about the moose. After the large animal crossed the outer perimeter fence, DEEP and the Environmental Conservation Police decided to exterminate the animal.
DEEP Spokesperson told CBS News, “When elk roam in high-traffic areas like airports and public roads, it can be a public safety concern and both DEEP and airport personnel are authorized to kill deer. elk if necessary.”
A plane hitting any animal the size of an elk during takeoff or landing is extremely dangerous. Federal Aviation Administration advises airports to implement containment measures to keep animals away from their facilities. The goal is to stop the creatures from encroaching on the airport’s soil before direct action is necessary.
DEEP notes that extreme care should be taken when exterminating moose to protect the airport. Even so, the agency also reports that there are only about 100 moose in Connecticut. The special deer at Bradley Airport never breached the interior fence surrounding the runway or taxiway. I hope that the Environmental Conservation Police considered all options before deciding to take down the elk.