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Fargo airport sees rise in bird-plane collisions

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News Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Fargo airport sees rise in bird-plane collisions
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

FARGO -- Reported bird strikes on airplanes have risen sharply at Fargo's Hector International Airport since 2006.

That reflects greater diligence by pilots in reporting strikes, said Shawn Dobberstein, the airport's executive director.


"I think there's just more being reported. I don't know that there's any more (strikes), at least in our situation, than there had been," he said.

Hector had a total of 107 reported bird strikes at Hector from 1990 through July 2009, according to information from The Associated Press.

Only 12 of the 107 came in 1990 through 1999.

Of the 107, 66 have occurred since 2006.

Hector does what it can to minimize wildlife habitat on airport property in an attempt to limit the number of birds and reduce the possibility that one will hit a plane, he said.

Dobberstein said he's aware of several flights through the years that took off from Hector, struck a bird and then returned to the airport to have the aircraft checked as a precaution.

Reported bird strikes at Hector

2000 -- 5

2001 -- 0

2002 -- 7

2003 -- 5

2004 -- 5

2006 -- 17

2007 -- 26

2008 -- 18

2009* -- 5

*Through July 2009

The AP also listed reported bird strike totals from 1990 through July 2009 for these area airports:

# Grand Forks International Airport, 105.

# Joe Foss Field (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 69.

# Bismarck Municipal Airport, 63.

# Jamestown (N.D.) Regional Airport, 3.

# Thief River Falls (Minn.) Regional Airport, Minn., 3.

# Crookston (Minn.) Municipal Airport, 2.

# Fergus Falls (Minn.) Municipal Airport, 2.

# Norman County/Ada/Twin Valley (Minn.) Airport, 1.

# Devils Lake (N.D.) Regional Airport. 1.

# Cooperstown (N.D.) Municipal Airport, 1.