Bird Season Open at San Jose Airport

Airport workers allowed to shoot at birds.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Nov 26, 2012  |  Updated 1:36 PM PDT
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Take aim at the gulls.

Birds at Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport are now fair game for biologists and airport workers, who will be officially allowed to fire guns at the birds in order to prevent possibly fatal aircraft damage, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Birds such as the seagulls who congregate near the Bay Area airport can damage engines and potentially crash a plane if they're not shooed away from aircraft taking off or landing, according to the newspaper. Sometimes the sound and fury of an airplane's jet engines aren't enough to scare off the birds. Airport workers in Oakland and San Francisco are allowed to shoot towards the birds to scare them away; now, so too will their San Jose colleagues, the newspaper reported.

The airport workers will fire "mostly" blanks, the newspaper reported. And the targets are limited to gulls and other flying hazards; other birds, like the burrowing owls who are protected, are not fair game.

The San Jose airport has had 180 bird strikes since 2009, the newspaper reported. Federal aviation officials deemed shotgun fire an official part of the airport's "wildlife hazard management plan," the newspaper reported.
 

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