At around 60 miles south of London, Southampton Airport is a pioneer of wildlife hazard prevention in Great Britain. Exit the electro-acoustic devices, long-range rockets or even pellet guns to fight against bird problems at the airport.
Specialist personnel are now equipped with, and this is a first in the U.K., the Dutch developed Aerolaser. Its principle is simple: the laser beam actually simulates a physical danger to birds and incites them to fly away, in addition, thanks to its 2,500 metre ( over 2,700 yd. ) range, the operators' time spent on and around the runway is considerably reduced.
Ian Cross, Bird Controller - Southampton Airport : watch the interview in the video. Time-saving and therefore increased security because with this laser there is no need to get out of their vehicle. No risk either of blinding pilots or air traffic controllers with this type of equipment. The laser is equipped with a double safety system.
Daniel Towsend, Airside Operations Manager - Southampton Airport : watch the interview in the video.
Southampton Airport, which last year welcomed nearly two million passengers, uses this system, as do around twenty others, such as Amsterdam, Oslo or Sarajevo. Although the company was a little reluctant to divulge its cost, Bird Control Group, which has marketed the laser since the beginning of the year, has no intention of stopping there. They hope to spread their wings by convincing the some 50,000 airports around the world to introduce this equipment.