Airport shooters target pesky birds


Window seat for that flight to Phoenix? Awesome.

But no matter how you feel about the 80s, a flock of seagulls is about the last thing you want to see out of that hazy, scratched-up porthole during takeoff.

For all the worries about terrorism, a much less-sinister culprit is responsible for many more air emergencies: birds.

Mineta San Jose International Airport has reported 180 bird strikes since 2009. In response, airport officials want authority to shoot birds out of the sky to protect the safety of air travelers.

While airport staff usually shoot blanks to scare off birds at the airport, they’re seeking the option to use live ammo to directly eliminate any threats.

The Merc reports San Jose airport staff already shoot at birds when situations warrant, but they’re looking for the official blessing of the City Council to allow people other than police and military to open fire on airport grounds.

Shooting birds out of the sky is a last resort that is sometimes needed, airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes told the Merc:

“At some point, all those other measures aren’t enough.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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