Keeping Geese Away from Runway a Challenging Job

The domestic airport in Egilsstaðir, northeast Iceland, receives passengers from all over the country, and the world, but some are more welcome than others. Geese are a seasonal presence at the airport, RÚV reports, and as they pose a risk to planes, people, and themselves, the task of shooing them away is an important one.

Honking back

Geese flock to this area by the thousands each spring, and have likely done so for centuries before this airport was ever here. However, flights need to depart from the airport in the morning, and before they can, employees of the airport move up and down the runway, scaring geese away with the honking of horns.

To the east of the runway is a field, where geese will often assemble to feed. Walking dogs in this area is banned, as they might scare the geese at an inopportune moment, i.e., the take-off or landing of a plane.

Many tools in the toolbox

Honking horns is not the only weapon in the airport’s arsenal against the geese. Laser pointers also keep the geese at bay, effectively enough, as well as high-pitched whistles that geese find unpleasant and keep them at bay.

But there is also the concern about younglings, as geese are prone to build their nests near the runway. For this, fences are used, or sometimes the eggs themselves are moved.

Nonetheless, geese and airplanes alike use very similar flight paths in this part of Iceland, and others. It is likely that keeping geese away from their larger, mechanical cousins will be an ongoing job for as long as airplanes exist in Iceland.

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