Hop On the Airport Risk Review Merry-Go-Round

7 Steps to Airport Wildlife Risk Managment

This is the final part of a 7 part series exploring the use of the ISO 31000 risk management framework in airport wildlife risk management; the previous parts have explored consultation, context, risk identification, assessment, evaluation, and treatment.

You might think you’re all done. You’re now sitting back with your treatments mapped out, all of which are based on your requirements for each of your risk scores relating to your identified species. But this is probably where the management part of risk management comes to the fore.

Monitoring and review is more than a step. Like consultation, it relates to every step of the way. It pops into and out of every other part of the risk management process and different approaches and techniques are required.

The Stalwart

I think nearly every airport that does wildlife hazard management has a bird counting process and there are pretty well established standards for these.

But monitoring and review is so much more than this. In fact it is probably too big to discuss in its entirety here, so I just want to tackle a couple of point I think are important.

Harassment Effectiveness

ISO 31000 lists control effectiveness as the first objective of monitoring and review. While bird counts and strike data do this, for harassment control there are a few other variables that can potentially confound these results.

Instead, I think that airside officers should score the effectiveness of their harassment activities as they do them and, potentially, at set intervals after. A simple scoring system on perceived effectiveness is a good start and over time, may provide useful information on which techniques are worthwhile and which are not. This is particularly important when habituation is a big problem with wildlife harassment.

When? Always But Not All the Time.

While monitoring is continually taking place, there will need to be periods between reviews to ensure that sufficient data is available for the identification of trends and significant phenomena.

On a daily basis, airside officers will be monitoring birds (through standard counts or while on patrol). Sometimes these observations will lead to immediate action such as a BirdTAM or similar but this data will also go into a database for regular review.

Other reviews will take place on seasonal or annual bases. Species identification and habitat reviews may take place at set times during the year.

While some guidance material puts a 5-year timeframe on your wildlife hazard management plan review. I would consider this a review of the plan’s framework (e.g. [risk assessment methodology](link post 4), [risk evaluation criteria](link post 5), etc.) more than its content. A new species is not going to wait for your next review to follow those locusts that just arrived in the area.

Your strategies within the plan will need to be more flexible and your processes will need to be responsive enough to manage the seasonal and periodic variability of the world’s natural environment.

There is Always More

As I hinted above, there is more to this than what I have written about here. It’s a big subject and there is always more to learn, more to write about and more to do. Help us flesh out this subject below by commenting with your experiences, knowledge and lessons learnt.