Bird strike bill shouldn’t affect Truckee Tahoe Airport |

Bird strike bill shouldn’t affect Truckee Tahoe Airport

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE ” A bill introduced by State Sen. Dave Cox addressing bird strikes shouldn’t affect Truckee Tahoe Airport.

State Senate Bill 481 clarifies the taking of wildlife at public airports to protect public safety doesn’t violate state law, according to a release from Cox’s office.

Truckee Tahoe Airport General Manager Dave Gotschall said while he supports the bill as good land management, the general aviation airport in the Martis Valley hasn’t had many problems with wildlife.

The runways are monitored at night with infra-red cameras, which allow airport personell to spot deer, coyotes, and bears on the runway at night when an airplane is getting ready to take off or land, Gotschall said.

“We’ve only had one deer strike in the eight years I’ve been here, which happened in 2001,” Gotschall said. “And when we got [infra-red cameras] we had anything since.”

Gotschall said the bill mainly addresses migratory birds ” not an issue at Truckee Tahoe Airport.

Cox, who’s state senate district includes the Tahoe area, said the bill gives airports “undisputed legal authority to protect the traveling public from bird strikes.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a total of 128 bird strikes were recorded at Sacramento International Airport in 2005, followed by 117 in 2006 and 113 in 2007.

“Sacramento International Airport has the highest number of bird strikes in the nation according to the FAA. This legislation will allow airport officials to continue to protect lives,” Cox said in the release.