FAA Issues Draft Wildlife Management Advisory Circulars and Proposed Clarification



In December the Federal Aviation Administration released three draft Advisory Circulars (ACs) and one Proposed Clarification for industry review and comment:

The first AC, 150/5200-32B, is an update to existing AC 150/5200-32A. This AC explains the importance of reporting collisions between aircraft and wildlife, more commonly referred to as wildlife strikes. It also examines recent improvements in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Bird/Other Wildlife Strike Reporting system; how to report a wildlife strike; what happens to the wildlife strike report data; how to access the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database (NWSD); and the FAA’s Feather Identification program.  The changes contained in the update do not appear to be very significant and primarily involve clarifications & updates regarding processes for submitting strike reports and wildlife remains for identification by the Smithsonian Institute.

The second AC, 150/5200-XX defines the minimum acceptable standards for the conduct and preparation of Wildlife Hazard Site Visits (Site Visit), Wildlife Hazard Assessments (Assessments) and Wildlife Hazard Management Plans (Plans). The AC also provides guidelines that define when a Site Visit should be conducted and when an Assessment must be conducted. It similarly defines minimum standards for conducting Site Visits and Assessments, as well as developing Plans. Finally, this AC provides checklists to help people evaluate Site Visits, Assessments and Plans.  As its numbering implies, this AC is a completely new document.  Accordingly, ACI-NA will be reviewing it carefully, with an eye towards any new resource or cost requirements the AC will impose on airport operators.  We encourage you to do the same.

The Federal Aviation Administration also published a notice of proposed clarification, "Clarification of Wildlife Hazard Management Requirements for Non-Certified Federally Obligated Airports" in the Federal Register today. This clarification would require non-Part 139 airports (typically those accommodating general aviation) that accept a new Airport Improvement Program (AIP) airport development grant, or accept a transfer of land under the Surplus Property Act, to conduct a Wildlife Hazard Site Visit (WHSV) or a Wildlife Hazard Assessment (WHA). This notice further clarifies that the FAA will change the language in AIP Grant Assurance No. 19 , "Operations and Maintenance"  to include wildlife hazards.

The proposed clarification would apply to four types of non-certified airports:

a) Airports with 100+ based turbine-powered aircraft or 75,000+ annual operations: Must initiate a WHA within three years of receiving a development grant and updated at least once every 10 years

b) Airports with 20 - 99 based turbine-powered aircraft or 30,000 - 74,999 annual operations: Must initiate a WHSV within three years of receiving a development grant and updated at least once every five years

c) Airports with 0 -19 based turbine-powered aircraft or 10,000 - 29,999 annual operations: Must initiate a WHSV within five years of receiving a development grant and updated at least once every five years

d) Airports with no based turbine-powered aircraft and fewer than 10,000 total annual operations: Must initiate a WHSV within eight years of receiving a development grant and updated at least once every five years

ACI-NA staff is reviewing the notice and revised grant assurances and will be providing comments to FAA.  The comment deadline is January 31st 2013.  If you would like to provide comments for inclusion in ACI-NA's submission, please send us input by January 17th 2013.  We encourage members, especially those that operate non-certificated (e.g., non-Part 139) airports, to review this proposed clarification and provide individual comments as well.  

ACI-NA will also develop comments to the ACs.  ACI-NA Members and World Business Partners are also welcome to submit their own comments to FAA directly.  Those wishing to do so can submit written comments to FAA National Wildlife Biologist John Weller at 800 Independence Ave. SW., AAS-300 Room 618, Washington, DC 20591 or by email at john.weller@faa.gov. Comments received by the FAA by January 31, 2013, will be considered for inclusion in the advisory circular.

For more information please contact Chris Oswald at coswald@aci-na.org, or Katherine Preston at krpeston@aci-na.org.