In a December 10, 2012 Federal Register notice, the FAA announced its proposal to require non-certificated airports that receive federal grant funds to identify and mitigate wildlife hazards at their airports. The mitigation mandate will take the form of initial Wildlife Hazard Site Visits (WHSVs) or Wildlife Hazard Assessments (WHAs), depending on the
size of the airport, potentially followed by more detailed Wildlife Hazard Management Plans (WHMPs).
The FAA’s stated purpose of a WHSV is for the airport to identify any immediate hazards and for the FAA to determine whether a more comprehensive WHA is necessary. However, small general aviation airports may become unnecessarily burdened by these proposed requirements. Wildlife hazard mitigation programs can be costly and burdensome, especially in the current fiscal climate. Airport owners and managers with questions or concerns about the FAA’s proposed Wildlife Hazard Assessment program should consult with legal counsel.