Level of Reporting and Mandatory Reporting

Birds

In May 2009, the FAA tasked SRA International, Inc., a leading provider of information technology service, and Richard Dolbeer, Ph.D., a world renowned wildlife hazard mitigation expert, to review its National Wildlife Strike Database. The FAA wanted to determine: the current level of wildlife strike reporting; the level of voluntary strike reporting necessary to develop national trends; whether mandatory strike reporting is necessary; and how the FAA could increase its data collection.

In the December report, Dolbeer estimated that the total number of strikes reported has increased from 20 percent during the period from 1990-1994 to 39 percent from 2004-2008. The majority of strike reports are filed at Part 139 airports, and approximately six percent at general aviation airports. Although there is a higher level of reporting, the number of damaging strikes has not increased mainly because many certificated airports have successfully put in place professionally-run wildlife hazard programs. Dolbeer determined the current level of reporting (39 percent) is statistically valid and is sufficient for the FAA to develop national trends and mitigation policies. Based on those findings, he concluded that mandatory reporting is not required.

The report did identify reporting gaps among certificated airports, air carriers, and general aviation airports. The FAA is conducting outreach with the aviation community to close these reporting gaps. A copy of the report can be found on http://www.airporttech.tc.faa.gov/safety/downloads.