Bird Directive at Airports



Aerodromes cover a significant part of Europe, scattered all over the continent, hosting a wide variety of Europe’s plant and animal species.

Some of these animals, especially the heavy and/or flocking species of birds, are one of the major hazards for aviation. When colliding with aircraft (aircraft – wildlife collision), the birds and other animals may jeopardize the safety of aircraft, its crew and passengers (and people living in the vicinity of aerodromes and beyond).

To safeguard aviation safety, EC Regulation 139 / 2014 has safety standards for all aspects of aviation, including wildlife hazard management at and around aerodromes.

The animals living at and around aerodromes are not only subject to this EC Regulation 139 / 2014 for aviation safety, but to the EU Habitats and Birds Directives as well. With these Directives, all bird and many animal species, including those living at and around aerodromes, are protected.

In case of aviation safety, Member States may derogate, where there is no other satisfactory solution,  from the provisions of the Habitats and Birds Directives. 

For the non-hazardous species, aerodromes could contribute to their conservation status. Especially for those species targeted in the EU initiative to protect the animal species of the European farmland that are in serious decline due to agricultural practices. 

Examples of good practices will help aerodromes to apply the most appropriate aircraft – wildlife hazard management strategies. This will result in

1) a reduction of the aircraft – wildlife strike hazard 

2) a reduction of the number of individuals affected by derogation permits

3) growing number of non-hazardous species.


This project aims to investigate:

1. The number of animals / species affected by aircraft;

2. The number of animals / species affected by the derogations;

3. The process to issue, execute and oversight of the derogations;

4. The wildlife hazard management methods of the aerodromes;

5. Good practices for a win – win situation of both flight safety and biodiversity at aerodromes.


Photography by: © Andries Pen


Number: – Status: Ongoing – Period: 2022 – Topic: Nature protection - Tags:

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