Environmental Assessment of the Reduce Bird Air Strike Hazards (BASH) Along East Tollgate Creek, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado
URS GROUP INC SAN FRANCISCO CA
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Aircraft collisions with birds and other wildlife annually cause millions of dollars in aircraft damage and may result in loss of life and aircraft. Bird strikes, or the collision of an aircraft with an airborne bird, tend to happen when aircraft are close to the ground, just before landing or after take-off, when jet engines are turning at top speeds. The incidents are serious, particularly when the birds are sucked into a jet engine and strike an engine fan blade. That impact displaces the blade such that it strikes another blade causing a cascade, resulting in engine failure. Bird and other wildlife. strikes to aircraft result in more than 600 million in damage a year, according to Bird Strike Committee USA. Control methods are available to reduce these losses and must be implemented by all Air Force, Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force Reserve units that plan, support or are engaged in flying missions. Birds and other hazardous wildlife on runways, taxiways, or infields create a potential safety hazard and should be dispersed before flying operations can safely continue. Birds move quickly and unpredictably, and even when left in a safe portion of the airfield, they can move and create an immediate hazard. The Air Force has determined that no single method of dispersal works for all problems, and that using a combination of different dispersal tools provides the best line of defense for immediate hazards. Under the Proposed Action, once 460 SWSE clears the area for unexploded ordnance concerns, approximately 200 cottonwood and 200 willow trees in and along the southern portion of East Tollgate Creek near the active runway would be removed. The trees would be cut down to 1-foot above ground level and their root systems left in place to protect against erosion. In addition, because the area is located within a 100-year floodplain, BMPs will be utilized to minimize impact or disturbance of the soil banks of East Tollgate Creek.
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