Home » Aircraft, wildlife reproduces en masse after lockdowns. Record of impacts in the skies

Aircraft, wildlife reproduces en masse after lockdowns. Record of impacts in the skies

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Aircraft, wildlife reproduces en masse after lockdowns.  Record of impacts in the skies

ROMA – The herring gulls, recognizable by their yellow fins, hares, wild rabbits; but also foxes, herons, swallows, swifts. Between 2020 and 2021, these animals spawned en masse in our cities because the lockdowns have drastically reduced the circulation of carspollution, noises.

The awakening of wildlife would be just beautiful and heartwarming news if it had not impacted on the circulation of Italian aircraft creating risky situations.

In his latest “Wildlife Strike” report, ENAC – guarantor of safety in our skies and at airports – counts 1617 collisions between animals and aircraft in 2021 alone, the most difficult year ever. It’s true. The record remains in 2019, when the impacts were 2095 in Italy.

Download the first part of the report – the second part – the Part Three

But things got worse last year because the number of flights was much lower – in 2021 than in 2019 – precisely because of the tailbacks of the pandemic. The president of ENAC, Pierluigi Di Palmaassures us that we are not in a state of serious alarm, “but we must not let our guard down”.

Pierluigi Di Palma, president of ENAC

The comedian Daniele Racowhich on 18 August was aboard the Airbus 320 of Ita Airways in flight from Genoa to Rome Fiumicinoit helps us to understand how heavy such a situation is.

Raco writes on his Facebook profile: “Let’s put it this way, after thirty years of airplanes it had to happen. A seagull in the engine, repeated outbursts, panic, the engine being turned off and the plane returning to Genoa”, for an emergency landing, luckily without any consequence. This is also due to the Ita pilots whom the comedian praises with enthusiasm.

The Enac Report writes that the multiplication of wild animals in the months of Covid does not explain everything. Around many, too many Italian airports resist “attractive” realities that recall mammals on the ground and birds in the air.

The Bari airport, for example, has a military stopover with grain crops nearby, a viaduct of the 16 Bis state road where pigeons nest, a legal dump of course, but a kingdom of seagulls. Not very different scenario in Brescia, with a landfill, areas of the Air Force abandoned to a colony of hares, water basins in quarries near the slipway and fish tanks. Raptors, in particular barn owls, are in the former NATO base in Comiso.

Linate, Ita plane damaged due to impact with a flock of birds: this is how the Lombard airports defend themselves from the ‘bird strike’

by Lucia Landoni


The Lombardy Region – adds the Report – has suspended the capture of the hares which thus multiplied and disturbed the airplanes of Bergamo Orio al Serio 16 times (in 2021) compared to 4 the previous year. Often they were sucked into the engines during take off.

The impact on the nose of the plane is the most recurring event in 2021 (there are 141 cases), followed by fire or engine failure (114) for the sucking of the animalwhich also experiences a terrible death.

Bird strikes and planes, that’s why birds crash on the left engine

Lucius Cillis


Its conformation does not help Italy. Some airports are near or very close to the sea. Yes, think only of those in Naples, Genoa, Reggio Calabria, Brindisi, in Bari which is close to the port, in Cagliari surrounded by the Santa Gilla lagoonin Rome Fiumicino.

These stopovers are hit by migratory flows of birds that cannot be controlled. And in the end, Italy turns out to be one of the countries most at risk with an average of almost 10 impacts every 10 thousand flights (between 2006 and 2021). More than the United States, Canada, Australia; more than France, Germany and the UK.

Engineer Claudio Eminente, editor of the Enac Report, explains that we Italians have also developed a culture of prevention. In Bari, falconers still raise their birds of prey trained to capture unwanted birds. Turin also has two dogs (border collie) to scare away large birds.

In the different airports they are often in use, then, high intensity headlights and lasers to ward off birds, propane gas cannons that emit ultrasounds unwelcome to animals, cages to capture them (without hurting them), targeted fireworks (in Bergamo).

Rome Fiumicino, birds on the trajectory of a Ryanair plane

Rome Fiumicino, birds on the trajectory of a Ryanair plane

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