Why Birds Shy Away From Binghamton Airport

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 16, 2009 at 7:57 PM EDT

Travelers across the world were no doubt thinking about the US Airways Hudson River landing as they boarded their own planes.

Action News Reporter Reed Buterbaugh tells us why the Greater Binghamton Airport's location helps prevent a fowl flights.

John Killean was at the Charlotte Airport where US Airways Flight 1549 was headed Thursday.

Instead, it plunged into New York's Hudson River.

He says while no one around him was panicking, people were concerned.

"A lot of people stopped in their tracks and and the news crews all came over trying to find people waiting for their loved ones to come in," Killean of Norwich said. "You knew something was up."

The emergency landing has travelers out of the Greater Binghamton Airport and others talking about birds, and their potential to clip a plane's wings.

"I flew out of Bangkok one time and had an engine in the plan do the same thing," said Alexander Williamson of Orlando. "It's scary stuff, being on a plane, have the engine go out cause of a bird or something. It's wild but it happens."

The Binghamton Airport has had 12 bird-related incidents the past year.

None of them have caused problems.

"At the Binghamton airport we're very fortunate in the fact that naturally we're not a big attraction to the birds and the fowl coming in to the airport," Carl Beardsley said, the Commissioner of Aviation for the Greater Binghamton Airport.

Beardsley says the elevation as well as the distance from waterways usually keeps big flocks away.

But, the airport does have a prevention system in place.

"We have what's called bangers, a banger gun," Beardsley said. "What it does it shoots out blanks and makes very loud noises like you'd see at a firework display and that's something that will scare the birds away."

Also, vehicles on the runway have sirens, also used to scare birds off that might be resting in a plane's engine.

Besides rough terrain surrounding the airport, harsh winters also help keep geese away for at least 4 months of the year.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.