After New York could Glasgow face disaster from swans?

The chances are that we were all glued to our television screens recently when news filtered through that a plane had been forced to make an emergency landing on a river in New York. Many of us thought terrorists had once again wreaked havoc with the aviation industry, particularly given the location of the forced landing.

However, it quickly transpired that the incident had been caused by birds flying into the plane’s engines. The passengers and crew members were extremely lucky to survive and the last thing any of us now want to see is a repeat episode of this scary event.

It therefore comes as disturbing news to find out that airport officials are concerned that planes departing from and arriving at Glasgow airport could suffer similar fates. Officials are worried that birds currently roosting close to the airport could fly into jet engines and cause a tragedy.

An area close to the runways at Glasgow is home to whooper swans which migrate from Iceland. According to BAA, the birds should be moved from this area. However, disturbing the birds is disallowed since they are not only a protected species but are also inhabiting a site of special scientific interest.

A spokeswoman for BAA was keen to downplay the panic surrounding this latest news. She revealed that bird patrols occur throughout the day and night, and several measures are performed which aim to prevent birds approaching the runways. These measures include spraying chemicals to remove nutrients from the area immediately surrounding the runway and playing fake noises of distressed birds.

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