Date:  Jun 11, 2009

Press Release Number:  70


PORT AUTHORITY DETAILS NEW BIRD STRIKE MITIGATION EFFORTS AT NYC REGION’S AIRPORTS, INCLUDING NEWARK, LA GUARDIA AND JFK AIRPORTS

Agency to Launch Sixth Annual Goose Roundup with USDA at Rikers Island

On the eve of an annual goose roundup at Rikers Island that already has removed nearly 1,250 geese from the vicinity of LaGuardia Airport, the Port Authority today highlighted a number of new initiatives to strengthen its aggressive bird mitigation program at the area’s airports, including the installation of a state-of-the-art bird radar pilot program at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and an agreement with New York City to pay half the costs of additional goose roundups to remove thousands of Canada geese from city-owned properties in the vicinity of LaGuardia and JFK.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Customer safety is our foremost priority, and we're constantly looking for new ways to do an even better job. The measures we're announcing today will help reduce the hazards posed by wildlife near our airports and provide a level of comfort to the tens of millions of customers who use our airports each year."

Executive Director Chris Ward said, “Customer safety is this agency’s number one priority and these new initiatives will further enhance our long-standing effort to crack down on wildlife threats at and around our airports.”

In addition to the federally approved, multi-tiered approach the agency currently takes to wildlife mitigation, including habitat modification, egg addling, nest removal, diversion, trapping and shooting when necessary, the Port Authority announced several additional steps it is taking:

  • Creating a memorandum of understanding with New York City that will lead to the roundup and removal of thousands of Canada geese from city-owned properties in the vicinity of LaGuardia and JFK. The Port Authority will pay half of the cost of this effort which will be carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture;


  • Installing a state-of-the-art bird radar pilot program at JFK;


  • Hiring of a second airport wildlife biologist - two of only seven in the nation- to enhance a wildlife hazard mitigation program at Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and JFK that already is one of the most aggressive in the country, featuring a falconry program to reduce the hazard posed by gulls;


  • Hiring of an independent evaluator to review the agency’s FAA-certified Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Plans for the three major airports; and


  • Training airport supervisors as certified shotgun instructors to increase the capacity to shoot birds when necessary.


All Port Authority airports are in compliance with federal regulations that require airport operators to submit a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan. The plans are required for an airport operator to receive its operating certification from the FAA.

CONTACT:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams, 212-435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.