October 11, 2013
By Alyssa J. Miller
It’s an accusation among public land managers that general aviation doesn’t have a good response to: the perception that aircraft noise has a negative impact on wildlife.
If policymakers or the public say that aircraft flying overhead causes wildlife undue stress, interferes with mating or migratory patterns, or jeopardizes the health of animals, groups like the Recreational Aviation Foundation that try to preserve access to remote airstrips on public lands have no data to prove the claim wrong.
Opposing those views is “like saying you’re against mom, dad, and apple pie,” Recreational Aviation Foundation President John McKenna said Oct. 11 at AOPA Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas—even if the people making the claims have little to no data proving their point.
The group plans to conduct a study in the summer of 2014 to determine whether aircraft noise raises stress levels among wildlife. The study, funded in part by a grant from the AOPA Foundation’s Giving Back program, will examine animals’ hormone levels collected from blood or feces samples to determine if they are stressed. The samples will be collected near backcountry airstrips that are frequented in the summer and compared to those of animals in areas without aircraft noise.
The Recreational Aviation Foundation plans to have the study peer reviewed and will release the results to the aviation community.
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
Recreational Aviation Foundation,
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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