National Academies Press: OpenBook

Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management (2015)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Introduction to the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT)

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Introduction to the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22091.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Introduction to the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22091.
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Page 29
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Introduction to the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22091.
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Page 30

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28 C H A P T E R 5 Modeling dynamic ecosystems and wildlife populations has been conducted in various appli- cations as described in the ecological literature. Such systems are inherently complex, which leads to uncertainties that must be accounted for when developing realistic models to describe them. The research team reviewed numerous studies for applicability to airport wildlife risk determinations; however, direct comparisons to the ACRP Project 04-17 study were not abun- dantly available. To develop the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT), the team referenced numerous prior efforts that addressed components of wildlife risk and wild- life population modeling as well as aircraft operations applications (see Root 1988; DeFusco 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998a, 1998b, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004; Allan 2000, 2006; Beerman and DeFusco 2001; Shamoun-Baranes et al. 2008; Paton 2010; Roberts et al. 2010). The WHaMRAT is designed to assist airport managers in assessing the wildlife risk to aircraft operations. It is but one tool that can be used in a comprehensive wildlife management program to complement an overall Safety Management System (SMS) at an airport. The WHaMRAT’s three user-input worksheets, in a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) format, incorporate various for- mulas and calculations that work together to determine an Overall Aggregate Wildlife Risk Score. The WHaMRAT requires user inputs that account for measures of wildlife presence and abundance, monthly average aircraft movements by aircraft class, locations of habitat con- sidered incompatible with safe aircraft operations, and current habitat and wildlife mitigation actions. These data entries produce a numerical result and graphical representation of current wildlife risk that is depicted as low, moderate, or high using a 1-to-5 scale (1 is low and 5 is high). The user also can enter optional future mitigation efforts and can view the potential impacts as Future-Projected Results. Detailed instructions on the use and interpretation of the WHaMRAT are provided in a User Guide included as Appendix C to this report. The WHaMRAT is built on a multi-attribute decision making (MADM) framework, taking wildlife presence and the potential likelihood of wildlife strikes to determine an Overall Aggre- gate Wildlife Risk Score for the airport (Belton 1986, Xu 2015). User inputs for aircraft class and monthly airport operations tempo influence the overall risk score, as do adjustment factors built into the WHaMRAT to reflect the presence of habitats incompatible with aircraft operations and the effects of current and future habitat and wildlife management and control mitigation efforts (Table 1). The adjusted information is then presented visually through two risk matrices that show Wildlife Severity versus Likelihood of Strike (Figure 8) and Aggregate Wildlife Risk versus Operations Adjustment (Figure 9). The research team developed two versions of the WHaMRAT—the EZ-Version WHaMRAT and the Advanced-Version WHaMRAT. The EZ-Version WHaMRAT allows universal applica- tion to all airport or wildlife management staff, regardless of airport size and airport operation experience. It is best practice for all airport or wildlife staff to use the EZ-Version WHaMRAT Introduction to the Wildlife Hazard Management Risk Assessment Tool (WHaMRAT)

Figure 8. Matrix—Wildlife Severity vs. Likelihood of Strike. Source: The WHaMRAT (BASH Inc.) Table 1. Data, calculations, and adjustments used to assess wildlife risk in the WHaMRAT. Airport-Specific Data (User Inputs) Calculations Result 1. Wildlife • Presence/Abundance • Group(s)/Guild(s) • Likelihood of Strike (for each group/guild – EZ version; for each species – Advanced version) Baseline computation: • Likelihood of Strike x Wildlife Severity summed over all guilds (EZ version) or species (Advanced version). Modifications made for zero-tolerance species and total number of different species appearing on and surrounding the airport. Aggregate Wildlife Risk Score 2. Operations • Monthly Average Aircraft Operations (for each aircraft class) Computation: • Scoring function based upon number of aircraft operations weighted by type of aircraft. Operations Adjustment 3. Habitat(s) and Mitigation Effort(s) • Presence/Absence of Incompatible Habitat(s)* and Distance(s) from the Airport** • Mitigation(s) of Incompatible Habitat(s) and Distance(s) from the Airport • Mitigation(s) of Specific Wildlife Group(s) or Guild(s) Computation: • Habitat scoring function based upon types of incompatible habitat and distance from airport operations. • Score reduced by habitat mitigation efforts. (Wildlife mitigation affects future score only). Current wildlife mitigation efforts are used to establish baseline wildlife mitigation score, which is then modified and considered in the future Aggregate Wildlife Risk Score. Habitat Adjustment – Mitigated Overall Aggregate Wildlife Risk Score * Incompatible habitats = habitats that may attract wildlife and that have been identified as incompatible with airport operations. ** Distance(s) refer to habitat location(s), and may be categorized as being (a) on airport property/within the perimeter fence; (b) outside the perimeter fence but within 10,000-foot or 5,000-foot separation distances; (c) at distances greater than 10,000-foot or 5,000-foot separation but within 5 miles and within the air traffic pattern; (d) at distances greater than 10,000-foot or 5,000-foot separation but within 5 miles and not within the air traffic pattern; or (e) at distances greater than 5 miles but with wildlife movement potential across the airport. For more technical information, see Attachment 10 of Appendix C.

30 Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management initially. The primary difference between the two versions is the ability to further discriminate wildlife species within guilds, species presence, and associated targeted wildlife mitigation efforts in the Advanced-Version WHaMRAT. The WHaMRAT was developed with input gathered from numerous airports from various FAA regions (Appendix A). Development airports provided input to a survey that focused on wildlife management and control combined with SMS activities. Test airports provided input on the WHaMRAT after testing the model using real-world airport data pertinent to its user-input worksheets. Figure 9. Matrix—Aggregate Wildlife Risk vs. Operations Adjustment. Source: The WHaMRAT (BASH Inc.)

Next: Chapter 6 - The EZ-Version WHaMRAT »
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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 145: Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management introduces and guides the application of a risk-based approach to wildlife hazard management (WHM) programs and outlines additional steps for integrating programs into an airport’s Safety Management System (SMS).

This report also provides a customizable tool, which is available as a CD-ROM. The tool includes:

  • A summary of existing database wildlife hazard descriptions
  • Numerical values for hazard severity and likelihood by species, derived from the FAA Wildlife Strike Database
  • An electronic or manual risk analysis template, which includes the incorporation of variables on or off the airport

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

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CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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