WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Aviation Administration need not provide safety or security information on birds hitting aircraft voluntarily reported by airports, according to a planned regulation which would codify the FAA’s current policy.
The agency reasons that the voluntary reporting is uneven and the airports are different enough that legitimate comparisons of strike data cannot by made without analysis. So the FAA and the Agriculture Department summarize it into an annual report made available to the public, leaving out safety and security information and information that “would inhibit” people from voluntarily reporting bird strikes in the future.
The agency states that if the media uses certain raw data, specific airports may be called out inappropriately, causing them to stop volunteering bird strike data.
The voluntary reports are used to analyze aircraft safety, the cost of strikes, and the nature of the problems, which can include species of bird, types of damage, height and phase of aircraft flight, and seasonal patterns. The data also can be used to calculate how much damage the plane has done to wildlife, which the airport must mitigate.