Fogger used to clear birds from airport

Airport Operation Duty Officers Armando Ebanks, left, and Jerad Ebanks with the bird fogger.

Operations staff at the Owen Roberts International Airport are using new equipment – a fogger – to reduce the number of bird at the airport.

According to a statement issued by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority Tuesday, its Operations Department in collaboration with the Safety Office, is now using “an environmentally safe device” to keep the birds away.

The fogger “deploys a light haze of bird repellent that irritates the bird’s mucous membrane,” the Airports Authority officials said.

“The effect doesn’t harm the bird, however, it does create an unpleasant sensation which causes the bird to leave the area,” the statement continued.

Cayman Islands Airports Authority Chief Safety Officer Andrew McLaughlin said the measure had been put in place because bird strikes are a big issue for airports, so “it’s important that we do everything we can to keep birds and other wildlife away from the aerodrome.”

He added, “We are once again in the middle of a very busy bird season, and I am pleased with the way the fogger has been working so far. The fog is harmless and many motorists may also notice a very fragrant grape scent coming from the area where the fogger is located, since it consists of a substance used in flavoring many types of food.”

The Airports Authority is also urging members of the public to do their part in keeping the airport area clear of wildlife by covering trash cans, picking up garbage and not feeding the birds in the areas surrounding the airport.

A Wildlife Hazard Working Group meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 to alert the public to methods the airports authority is using to mitigate wildlife.