NBC 5 Investigates continues to track a serious threat to airplanes over Bachman Lake, on the north side of Dallas’ Love Field Airport.
Last summer, video shot around the lake showed groups of pigeons sitting on the landing lights and huge flocks of ducks and geese roosting around the lake. On video, one large bird even darted right in front of a Boeing 737 on final approach to the airport. According to a federal database last year, on average, at least one plane per week hit a bird at the airport. Since 1990, more than 400 Southwest Airlines jets have hit birds or other wildlife while Love Field has never had a comprehensive program to deal with them.
Carter said birds get accustomed to noise. After all, they’re not scared away by jets screaming over their heads. Instead, he recommends using trained dogs and falcons to chase birds away day after day.
“So basically you’re giving the birds a choice to be here, where there’s a predator, or a wolf in their eyes, or to be somewhere else where there’s no predator, and you simply shift that,” said Carter.
The airport said it’s now willing to consider the use of dogs and has tested a falcon.
But they’re not using either on a daily basis right now and huge groups of ducks, gulls and pigeons still swarm the area. Despite new warning signs at Bachman Lake, people are still feeding them.
The airport is seriously considering asking the City Council to pass a law that would allow police to ticket people for feeding birds along the lake.
Ultimately, Carter said the birds will stay unless the airport does something to physically chase them off day after day.
Until then, the danger remains.
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