Every year, thousands of bird strikes are reported by private or commercial planes. The Corpus Christi International Airport has a wildlife assessment plan to maintain its wildlife throughout the airport grounds.
Because of the proximity of the coast and central flyway, the airport is under a wildlife hazard management plan which is monitored by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Operations Manager Carl Gross says his team monitors the perimeter of the grounds twice a day to watch for any wildlife that could possibly hit the tarmac or an aircraft.
As part of the Operations Management team, Gross says, “we monitor the different populations and see what we can do to control them.”
With numerous species of birds, coyotes and other wildlife around, CCIA has certain precautions in place to maintain a safe airport.
Gross says that CCIA built a new 8-foot fence a few years ago that stretches 9 miles. It has a concrete barrier along the bottom to help keep coyotes and stray dogs from digging underneath.
Grass must be kept a certain length to deter any other species, Gross said.
“Anything higher than 12 inches, you kind of encourage the ground-nesting birds to come in,” Gross says. “And anything below 6 inches, what you do is expose the small animals to raptors.”
Part of the CCIA’s property also includes leased land to some farmers. Those crops are not allowed to have seed crops so it does not attract birds.
According to FAA records, Gross says there were 45 bird strikes. in 2018 So far this year, there have been three bird strikes.