Accipiter Radar is delighted to announce the recent installation of their Accipiter® NM1-24D Avian Radar at Seattle Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), which represents the latest iteration of the Company’s innovative, commercially-available technology. The newly acquired avian radar expands Sea-Tac’s existing Accipiter® Avian Radar Network by adding Accipiter’s Total Coverage™ technology. This 3D scanning technology allows Sea-Tac to prioritize where the radar looks anywhere in the hemispherical aerodrome, allowing the radar to search for bird threats including high-altitude off-airport flocks of geese which ultimately resulted in Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic forced landing on the Hudson in 2009.
Sea-Tac is the North American leader in the integration of avian radar into airport operations; and Accipiter is proud to have partnered with the airport’s team since 2007. Sea-Tac’s accomplishments with avian radar already include contributions to habitat management, real-time alerting of on-airport threats in their Airport’s Communication Center with dispatch of airport operations specialists to mitigate them, and support to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in its preparation of Advisory Circular 150/5220-25 on Avian Radar use at airports. And Sea-Tac’s Steve Osmek, who leads their avian radar program, is ready to take advantage of this latest tool: “We’re excited about the additional capabilities that Accipiter’s new technology will give our airport as we continue our effort to further mitigate the risk of bird strikes. With increased bird awareness at Sea-Tac, we are better able to direct our resources to mitigate risk.”
Captain Steve Jangelis, Airport and Ground Environment Chairman for the Airline Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) notes: “Pilots are concerned about bird strikes and are eager to have access to accurate bird threat information which avian radar can provide.” Recently, simulated tests conducted by the FAA with Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots resulted in positive feedback from this sector of the aviation community concerning the availability of such bird threat information in the ATC tower.
Accipiter President & CEO Dr. Tim J. Nohara applauds the efforts of pioneering airports like Sea-Tac, the FAA, key stakeholders such as air traffic controllers and pilots, and its avian radar competitors for making it possible today to significantly reduce the risk of off-airport damaging bird strikes such as US Airways Flight 1549. Dr. Nohara states: “We have invested substantially to develop affordable, radar-based, situational awareness tools to detect bird threats to aircraft, and alert those who can take action to mitigate risk, especially at night, in fog, and off-airport where other tools are not effective. I believe it is now our collective responsibility to promote the roll-out of these capabilities at airports in order to protect the travelling public and reduce property damage. It is my hope that the release of the new film ‘Sully’ produced by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, based on the ‘Miracle on the Hudson,’ will be a catalyst to re-energize aviation industry stakeholders to accelerate their efforts to increase aviation safety with respect to bird strikes.”
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