Wildlife hazard management is a safety priority at Geneva Airport which handles some 15 million passengers a year.

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This has been strengthened over the last few years by setting up a Wildlife Hazard Management Unit, from the long term partnership between Geneva Airport and BTEE. BTEE manage and are responsible for the unit.

Its task is to deal with problems due to the presence of wildlife, particularly birds, within the airport perimeter to reduce the risk of collision and allow smooth co-existence between aircraft and diverse wildlife.

Every day WHM officers carry out numerous tasks such as observing, locating and counting wildlife, studying factors that attract them, carrying out scaring or discouragement operations, recording collisions, working with the Safety Office and so on.

What is a WHM Officer?

WHM officers must know the different animal species which frequent the airport so they can anticipate their behaviour. They also have a large amount of environmental management knowledge.

With all these skills, WHM Officers ensure that the airport is free of hazardous species, using the most appropriate scaring techniques for the situation. Passive prevention measures are used as well as active measures within the airport boundary and they are involved in drawing up the recommendations issued by airport management.

Officers also carry out various related administrative tasks in accordance with the Safety, Quality and Environment Management System used by BTEE, which is ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and eduQua certified. For example they examine, centralise and document Bird Strike Reports for Geneva Airport.

WHM officers work closely with personnel at Geneva International Airport, Skyguide, MétéoSuisse and the airlines, particularly for producing statistics (traffic, weather and so forth).