Westchester County Airport mulls more non-lethal options to keep birds away, prevent airstrikes

One option is an avian radar, which sends signals to a pilot that warns of birds ahead.

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WHITE PLAINS - Officials at Westchester County Airport are looking into non-lethal options to keep birds away and prevent airstrikes.

One option is an avian radar, which sends signals to a pilot that warns of birds ahead.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Westchester 4 Geese, is helping to find ways to move the birds away from parks and airports. She says non-lethal methods are less cruel, less expensive and more effective in the long run.

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Officials at the county airport say they use a number of non-lethal methods to remove birds, including eliminating food sources, keeping grasses low and using noise guns. They say they are forced to use lethal methods during certain instances.

Just five months ago, passengers on a JetBlue flight to Palm Beach encountered a bird strike just moments after taking off. They were forced to make an emergency landing at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In 2012, two birds smashed into the windshield of another JetBlue flight. It was also forced to make an emergency landing.

Airport Manager Peter Sherrer says the new non-lethal options will be examined to determine if they will work for the airport.

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