AERIUM Analytics and Clear Flight Solutions Realize Significant Reduction in Bird Strike Risk at GFK Airport Due to Successful Two-Part Wildlife Management Project at the City of Grand Forks’ Wastewater Facility.
Grand Forks, ND – Working in partnership with the City of Grand Forks, AERIUM Analytics and Clear Flight Solutions have successfully employed innovative solutions, including the Robird® ornithopter, to perform wildlife management operations at the Grand Forks wastewater treatment facility. Due to its location next to the Grand Forks International (GFK) Airport, wildlife management and bird control operations at the facility are a necessity to further reduce the threat that birds pose to GFK’s arriving and departing aircraft. Marking the first official integration of Robird® and other UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) within Class D airspace surrounding the GFK airport, considerable coordination was required with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the GFK Airport to ensure the safety of pilots, passengers, and people on the ground. During the operation, over 150 UAS flights occurred under the direct authorization from the FAA and over 100 LAANC applications were submitted and approved after coordination with Air Traffic Control. Most of the flights occurred directly below air traffic patterns from Grand Forks International Airport and zero incidents were reported.
The results following the operations are promising. Data collected by the GFK throughout the project shows a 71% reduction in bird strikes during the period of 2018 operations compared to the same period in 2017 and a reduction in the resident gull population from 6000 down to 200 over the course of the project. The second part of the project is set to begin in the spring of 2019 and will focus on decreasing the bird population before the migratory season begins and act as an assessment for determining the long-term benefits of the wildlife management program.
“The operation was conducted safely and successfully with zero incidents reported. The results are promising with a considerable reduction in resident bird population at the wastewater facility, we are looking forward to beginning the second half of the project in the coming spring season to further our focus on decreasing the bird population before the beginning of the migratory season,” says Jordan Cicoria, the VP of Operations for AERIUM Analytics.
“We’re excited to see our first official US operations take off with some very impressive results, and are happy to see that Robird® flights have resulted in a massive reduction in bird strike risk at the Grand Forks International Airport. With our operations at Edmonton International Airport and the continuation of the successful project together with the City of Grand Forks, we’re looking forward to further help save, preserve and protect wildlife and people at even more North American airports in the coming years,” says Robert Jonker, co-founder of Clear Flight Solutions.
“There was no doubt this area would make an excellent choice for one of the first unmanned Robird® to take flight in the US, over our airport and wastewater pond,” says City Water Works Director Melanie Parvey. “The Grand Forks region has become the epicenter of all things Unmanned Arial Systems,” according to Mayor Michael R. Brown, working with AERIUM Analytics and Clear Flight Solutions “the unmanned aircraft disguised as peregrine falcons has been a humane and effective way to remove birds that settle near the wastewater ponds.”
About AERIUM Analytics
AERIUM Analytics is a Canadian Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Service provider with a strong focus on complex operations and geospatial intelligence. Their fleet of UAS includes commercial-grade fixed-wing, quadcopter, and flapping-wing units, that allow them to provide a variety of stand-alone or package services, including UAS flight services, wildlife management services, data processing and analysis, and enhanced data visualization. This allows AERIUM Analytics to cover the full spectrum of UAS needs for their clients. With a strong focus on safety and regulatory compliance, AERIUM Analytics uses innovative technology to deliver unique and effective solutions. To learn more about AERIUM Analytics, please visit: aeriumanalytics.com or follow @AERIUMAnalytics on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
About Clear Flight Solutions
Clear Flight Solutions is a Dutch company combining expert knowledge of Unmanned Aircraft Systems with extensive expertise in the ecological domain. Whether the situation requires a robotic bird of prey or a stable multicopter, the Company provides a working solution. With the Robirds, flying on unique patented flapping wing technology, the company offers unmatched effectiveness in the field of bird control. Clear Flight Solutions also offers unique platforms for wildlife observation and protection, safety and surveillance, and surveying and mapping. For further information about our services please visit http://www.clearflightsolutions.com
About Grand Forks City, ND
Grand Forks is nestled in the Red River Valley bordering the state of Minnesota, located in northeastern North Dakota. The unmanned ecosystem in the Grand Forks community is the most robust in the country, establishing many industry firsts including an operational UAS integration test site, UAS post-secondary training program at the University of North Dakota, UAV business and Aviation Park connected to the Grand Forks Air Force Base.