Sioux Falls Regional Airport Has a Geese Problem
You may not have seen the 2016 film Sully, but you certainly know the story.
It was January 15, 2009, and US Airways Flight 1549 was taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City bound for Charlotte when the Airbus A320-214 struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff.
The impact took out both of the plane's engines and led to Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles ditching the plane in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board in what would become known as the 'Miracle on the Hudson'.
That movie is a stark reminder of how birds and planes do not play well together and that exact scenario is one the the Sioux Falls Regional Airport is trying desperately to avoid.
The birds in question in South Dakota's largest city are Canada geese, who this time of the year migrate into the area as their usual habitats freeze over.
Starting Wednesday (December 6), to keep the birds from congregating in the area of the airport's runways, Sioux Falls Animal Control, in conjunction with Sioux Falls Regional Airport, Landscapes Golf Management, and South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks will be using pyrotechnics and sound cannons to scare geese from quarry ponds east of the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds and at the Elmwood Golf Course. The airport will also be using sound cannons on their property.
Officials say the cannons are a humane method of scaring geese because they contain no chemicals or poisons. Instead, they are pressure-regulated to create a sonic blast with no projectiles.
The cannons are scheduled to go off several times during the day and will not be used at night.
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