18-Aug-2020 Source: AENA
[electronic translation] The Ceuta Heliport and the Port Authority have implemented a falconry service to improve the safety of air operations in the face of the proliferation of seagulls in the landing and take-off area (FATO), to make the sustained increase in traffic sustainable and avoid interference with The natural environment.
The measure has been agreed with the Port Authority, the Autonomous City Environment Council and the main operating company of the facility, Hélity, within the framework of the Animals Committee, made up of Aena, the Port Authority of Ceuta, the Agency State of Air Safety (AESA), the Autonomous City and the representatives of the three operational bases of the infrastructure (Civil Guard, Hélity and Eliance).
This wildlife control system, respectful with the environment and the most widely used for its effectiveness in airport facilities, relies on the use of specially trained raptors to keep the rest of the fauna away from the perimeter of the enclosure.
The service is carried out from sunrise to sunset, both on the heliport itself and on the Spanish pier, and its objective is to mitigate the risk to air operations posed by the presence of birds, mainly seagulls. To do this, between 3 and 5 sentinel eagles are deployed, held at surface level at points enabled for this function on the heliport and in the port. The control of fauna is completed with preventive flights of marking, in a punctual way and whenever they do not coincide with air operations.
All activity is subject to a procedure that relies on close coordination between the heliport Operations Center and the falconry service technicians, who always listen to the heliport air-to-air band when they are operating.
This service has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the presence of birds in the heliport environment without significantly interfering with the heliport operation or the bird colony.
The joint work of all administrations will reduce the presence of birds that could pose a danger to air transport, a backbone and of vital socio-economic importance for the City.