Aarhus Universitets segl

No 66: Goose Populations and air traffic safety in Denmark

Christensen, T.K., Baxter, A., Clausen, P., Hounisen, J.P. & Fox, A.D. 2015. Gåsebestande og flyvesikkerhed i Danmark. Forvaltning i lufthavnes sikkerhedsområder. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi, 78 s. - Teknisk rapport fra DCE - Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi nr. 66.


Geese are large birds that often occur in large flocks. For this reason they may constitute a risk to air traffic safety, if they occur in or in the vicinity of airports. Most goose populations in Northwestern Europe have shown a dramatic increase during the last decades, and the number of migrating, staging and wintering geese in Denmark has increased markedly. The increasing numbers of geese and a concurrent increase in the number of bird strikes (collisions between aircrafts and birds) has stimulated the attention on the occurrence and the management of geese within the safety zones of airports of 13 km.

This report describes the development in the goose populations occurring in Northwestern Europe, and gives a status of both the breeding and staging/wintering numbers of geese in Denmark. The report further describes management practices used worldwide to reduce or remove critical occurrences of geese within airports, and those practices that may be implemented to successfully manage geese occurrences in airport safety zones, if such actions are assessed to be necessary. The report further provides the outlines to a framework for managing geese, including the setting of management targets, risk assessment and the inclusion of stakeholders of interest, which all are assessed essential in the implementation of efficient management.

It is assessed that with continuously increasing goose populations, airports will face a more demanding need for active goose management within the safety zones of airports to minimise the risk of collisions between aircrafts and bids. The report presents a simple model that may be used as a basis for future management plans for geese.