16 October 2013

Live Blog: Ilonka Angalet on Airport Landscapes

Airport Landscapes
Ilonka Angalet (RULA '73) - RU LA Outstanding Alumni
2013 NY/NJ Port Authority

6 Airports:
JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia
Stewart, Atlantic City, Teterboro
   total acreage of 15,176 Acres

Lots of lawn, scrub, and pavement

Started with a 1960's court case that found the airport liable for bird strikes caused by water pools near the JFK Airport Chapel
By 1979 legislation required airports to develop plans to address the danger to public safety

Bird strikes has a surprisingly lengthy entry in Wikipedia

(Bonus link: Bird Strike Myths. Don't read this if you are about to fly.)

Different plants are more (or less) attractive to birds than others - FAA advisory circular tells them that they must not use plants that attract birds
If a neighbor (within 5 miles) attracts birds that are the cause of the flight, they are liable.

"Lawns should consist of select Tall Fescue seed cultivars that thrive on low nutrient, low water availability and that are a 90% endophyte enhanced variety."

Lawn areas should include trees like the English Oak and Hornbeam that produce fruit that do attract problem birds. Fruit seasonality is also an issue, since non-migratory roosting birds are often attracted to winter fruits.

Alternative practices include placing nursery containers around site.

The areas around airports have great potential for sustainable biomass production for a biomass power generation station on NYNJPA property.

The airports currently get compost from off site, but as much as 80% is not up to standards. An on-site composting process could contribute to a healthier landscape and allow the PA to monitor the quality closer.

Animal tracks

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