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  • ESG on Airport Bird Strike Issue 9th June 2016

    Press Release

    Re Airport Bird Strike

    9th June 2016


    The ESG considers that we are facing an increasingly dangerous situation regarding plane activity and gull numbers, given the recent aborting of a plane due to a bird strike incident.


    Gulls are frequently seen flying across the runway while planes are taking off and landing, and this, combined with a growing number of flights from our airport, is potentially increasing the odds of a serious accident.


    Unfortunately their numbers are such that yellow-legged gulls are considered a pest and there is a dangerous overpopulation of them due to the abundant human waste available as food.


    Due to the sheer impossibility of removing feeding grounds in Los Barrios, which accounts for their high population numbers, it remains incumbent on us to significantly reduce the numbers of breeding gulls that come to Gibraltar.


    The effective reduction in numbers of these birds would increase aircraft safety, benefit migratory birds and reduce the spread of infections from their droppings – recent evidence suggests that they are helping to spread antibiotic resistant bacteria.


    Government is no doubt following a culling programme it believes sufficient in dealing with this problem; however, the dangers exposed by the recent aborted flight due to a bird strike is a stark reminder that much more needs to be done to control their numbers more effectively and avert a potential tragedy in the future.