Mouse plague threatens Schiphol safety

8th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — A mouse plague around Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is placing flights in danger because birds such as the buzzard and the heron that eat the mice could be sucked into the engines of an airplane, it was reported on Tuesday.

8 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — A mouse plague around Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is placing flights in danger because birds such as the buzzard and the heron that eat the mice could be sucked into the engines of an airplane, it was reported on Tuesday.

The number of collisions with birds increased by 50 percent last year, rising from 3 incidents per 10,000 flights in 2003 to 4.5 in 2004, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.

The KLM Boeing 737 which skidded off the Barcelona runway at the end of November last year probably hit a bird during takeoff at Schiphol.

"The nuisance is a regularly re-occurring subject of discussion with Schiphol,' KLM spokesman Hugo Baas said, adding that the birds could damage a plane's engines and place a flight at risk.

But airport spokesman Ruud Wever said Schiphol had worked hard to get rid swarming birds — and with success. But he said the airport was still tackling solitary-type birds.

Besides deploying dogs, alarm pistols and tapes with shouting noises to combat the problem, Schiphol is also planting daffodils and fritillaries near the Polderbaan runway to drive the mice away. They don't like the smell.

Schiphol is also letting the grass grow long around the runway because birds do not like that and bird watchers are active 24-hours per day.

Pouring concrete around the runways is not considered an option because it is unattractive and birds flock to it anyway because it retains warmth. Mouse poison cannot be used because it might kill birds of prey.

Nevertheless, KLM — the biggest user of Schiphol — is demanding as many measures as possible be taken, asserting that safety should take priority. But spokesman Baas said fortunately, planes only rarely encounter problems.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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