Officials at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport are considering using lasers to drive away geese from the runways, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.
Seven in 10,000 aircraft landing or taking off from Schiphol hit a bird and this can pose a danger to the flight, the paper says.
Experiments with using green laser beams have worked out well, leading the airport authority to consider permanently implementing the system.
However, first the impact of the lasers on pilot safety needs to be assessed, the paper states. Pilots can become temporarily blinded by the lasers, leading to what the paper describes as ‘dangerous situations’.
Green lasers are already on sale in the US as a humane form of geese control and are used by park rangers to keep the birds at bay. The bright green light on their feathers is said to startle the birds into flying off.
Noord-Holland province currently sanctions the mass gassing of geese in an effort to keep the runways and surrounding area clear.
Pest control companies rounded up and gassed almost 7,000 geese in a 20 kilometre radius of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport this spring, the NRC said in September.
Nevertheless, bird migration experts say gassing the geese is not a long-term solution. ‘Within two years population levels will be restored,’ researcher Julia Stahl told the NRC.
The lack of competition for food and good nesting places will encourage birds from elsewhere in the Netherlands to move to the area around Schiphol, she said. Researchers say changing crops and farming methods offer a better solution.
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