Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is trialing pigs to protect planes from bird strikes

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is trialing pigs to protect planes from bird strikes

(CNN) — Pigs may well not actually fly, but they could have a function to perform in holding air journey protected.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has employed 20 of the animals as section of a pilot challenge aiming to lessen the variety of bird strikes on plane.

Collisions between aircraft and more substantial birds, these as geese, can pose serious danger, significantly if the animals are sucked into the engines.

The airport observed all over 150 hen strikes in 2020, Schiphol spokeswoman Willemeike Koster informed CNN on Wednesday, and the pig pilot is 1 of various actions the airport is getting to test to deliver the quantity down.

The pilot concerned pigs foraging on a 5-acre plot in which sugar beets experienced not long ago been harvested in concerning two runways, the airport explained in a press launch announcing the task in September.

The pigs ended up offered by Buitengewone Varkens, a compact pig-farming firm that raises the animals outdoor.

Schiphol airport approached the corporation and questioned if the pigs would be ready to come and try to eat the crop leftovers, which draw in geese and other birds, co-operator Stan Gloudemans explained to CNN on Wednesday.

The initially advantage is that the pigs assistance to make the region much less beautiful to birds by taking away a source of foodstuff, Gloudemans stated.

A 2nd reward is the truth that, as meat eaters, pigs will also try out to catch geese that land in the discipline to relaxation, he extra.

Even though the pigs are not able to move quick enough to essentially catch the geese, their makes an attempt to do so mean they act like living scarecrows and frighten the birds absent, he mentioned.

Gloudemans’ farm generates about 300 piglets a yr. They are ordinarily deployed all-around the Netherlands to apparent weeds or crop leftovers from harvests, alternatively than as section of aircraft safety actions, he explained.

“This was the most bizarre problem,” said Gloudemans, including: “Subsequent time maybe they’ll request me to maintain thieves away or something.”

Schiphol Airport claimed the project’s accomplishment will be measured by analyzing chook action in the place all through the time the pigs were present, compared with when they ended up not.

The airport now employs 20 fowl controllers who get the job done about the clock to continue to keep birds absent, working with technology such as laser beams and seems. It also plants particular sorts of grass to make the area “as unappealing as attainable for birds,” reported Koster.

The 6-week pilot project ended in the initial 7 days of November, Koster mentioned, adding that it was “useful.” The data gathered will be examined in the coming months, and a selection on the longer-expression use of pigs is predicted early upcoming calendar year, she explained.