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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-075
Details
Synopsis: On January 15, 2009, about 1527 eastern standard time,1 US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US, experienced an almost total loss of thrust in both engines after encountering a flock of birds and was subsequently ditched on the Hudson River about 8.5 miles from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City, New York. The flight was en route to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Charlotte, North Carolina, and had departed LGA about 2 minutes before the in-flight event occurred. The 150 passengers, including a lap-held child, and 5 crewmembers evacuated the airplane via the forward and overwing exits. One flight attendant and four passengers received serious injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require all 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 139-certificated airports to conduct wildlife hazard assessments (WHA) to proactively assess the likelihood of wildlife strikes, and, if the WHA indicates the need for a wildlife hazard management plan (WHMP), require the airport to implement a WHMP into its airport certification manual.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: Weehawken, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA09MA026
Accident Reports: Loss of Thrust in Both Engines, US Airways Flight 1549 Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US
Report #: AAR-10-03
Accident Date: 1/15/2009
Issue Date: 5/21/2010
Date Closed: 6/22/2017
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Wildlife

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 6/22/2017
Response: We note that all Part 139-certificated airports that had not previously performed a WHA have now completed a WHA and a WHMP, with the exception of five airports that are under a military base bird/wildlife strike hazard mitigation program (BASH) and one airport that received a wildlife hazard site visit (WHSV) from a US Department of Agriculture biologist who determined that a WHA was not necessary. Although you did not implement the recommended regulatory reform, we continue to believe that the BASH and WHSV are acceptable alternatives for those Part 139 airports where it was determined that a WHA is not appropriate. Because all Part 139 airports have completed a WHA or an acceptable alternative, Safety Recommendation A 10-75 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/8/2017
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: In the Board's most recent response dated April 8, 2015, it stated in part that all part 139 airports that had initiated a WHA must have completed it and developed a WHMP in order to close this recommendation. The Board also stated that airports with a military base Bird/Wildlife Strike Hazard (BASH) mitigation program, or that have been approved to receive a Wildlife Hazard Site Visit (WHSV), constituted acceptable alternatives for those part 139 airports where it was determined that a WHA was not appropriate. Since that response, all other remaining part 139 airports not in those categories have initiated and completed a WHA and WHMP. In total, there are 525 certificated airports that have completed a WHA or WHMP. There are five other airports not in this grouping that have alternative BASH plans, and one Class IV airport in Alaska that had a WHSV conducted by a U.S. Department of Agriculture biologist who recommended that a WHA was unnecessary. I believe the Federal Aviation Administration has effectively addressed this recommendation and consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/8/2015
Response: We note that all Part 139 certified airports that had not previously performed a WHA have completed or initiated a WHA unless the airports are either (1) under a military base Bird/Wildlife Strike Hazard mitigation program (BASH) or (2) have been approved to receive a Wildlife Hazard Site Visit (WHSV). We also note that, for those airports that have been approved to receive a WHSV—a scaled-down version of a WHA—the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that neither an extensive 12-month WHA nor a WHMP is needed. We note that the USDA based its determination on a site visit by, and recommendations of, a USDA qualified airport wildlife biologist. In each case, a biologist identified any wildlife hazards on or near the airport and found insufficient justification for a long-term WHA. We believe that the BASH and WHSV constitute acceptable alternatives for those Part 139 airports where it was determined that a WHA is not appropriate. However, we point out that other airports must complete WHAs and implement appropriate WHMPs as needed before we can close this recommendation. Consequently, pending completion of those actions, Safety Recommendation A-10-75 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/5/2015
Response: -Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: All Part 139 certificated airports have completed or initiated a WHA except for ten that have used an acceptable alternative. Four of these ten airports are under a military base Bird/Wildlife Strike Hazard mitigation program called BASH. These airports are located at joint-use civilian/military airfields and have integrated their respective programs into BASH to manage wildlife hazards on the civilian side of the airfield. The remaining six airports have conducted scaled down versions of a complete Wildlife Hazard Assessment called Wildlife Hazard Site Visits (WHSV). During the WHSV for these airports, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that neither an extensive 12-month WHA nor a WHMP was needed. This determination was based on recommendations within a site visit letter from a USDA-qualified airport wildlife biologist. In each case, the biologist found insufficient justification for a long-term WHA after conducting surveys to identify wildlife hazards on or near the airport and the determination of risks associated with these hazards. I believe the FAA has effectively addressed this recommendation and consider our actions complete.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 4/2/2014
Response: We note that all 19 Part 139 certified airports that had not previously performed a WHA have been now been funded to do so, and that work is currently in progress. However, we were disappointed to learn from your letter that the recommended rulemaking remains on hold until after the Airport Safety Management System (SMS) supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking is finished. We note that the benefits that would result from implementation of Safety Recommendation A-10-75 will be counted for the SMS rule, and we are aware that, under the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, these same benefits cannot then be used to justify the recommended rule requiring WHAs and WHMPs. As a result, it is unlikely that the FAA will be able to develop the cost benefit analysis needed to justify this rule to the Office of Management and Budget. We believe that, if the 19 airports complete their WHAs and, as a result, implement appropriate WHMPs as needed, the FAA will have satisfied this recommendation in an acceptable alternate manner. Consequently, pending those actions, Safety Recommendation A-10-75 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/20/2014
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As noted in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) letter dated April 23, 2013, we were encouraging 19 certified airpo11s that had not yet initiated a WHA to voluntarily conduct one. All 19 airports agreed to request Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funding in Fiscal Year 20 13 to initiate a WHA. Since that letter, these airports have received AIP funds and have initiated the process to conduct a WHA at their airport. The rulemaking requested in this recommendation will remain on hold until the Airport Safety Management System (SMS) Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is finalized. The SMS rule used a significant amount of benefits from the wildlife rule. Once the SMS rule is finalized, we will determine whether the proposed wildlife rule remains cost beneficial. I will keep the Board infom1ed of the FAA's progress on this recommendation and provide an update by November 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/8/2013
Response: The FAA previously informed us that it was developing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing the recommended action. We recently checked the US Department of Transportation’s website for the status of significant rulemakings and learned that there are no dates scheduled for any components of this rulemaking because of “unanticipated issues requiring further analysis.” The FAA’s letter described interim actions it is taking to encourage the 19 Part 139?certificated airports that have not yet completed or initiated a WHA to request Airport Improvement Program grant funding to initiate an assessment. Pending issuance of an NPRM followed by a final rule requiring all certificated airports to conduct a WHA, regardless of whether they have experienced a triggering event, Safety Recommendation A-10-75 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/23/2013
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As previously noted, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued CertAlert Number 09-10 and initiated a rulemaking effort to address this recommendation. The rulemaking process is ongoing. In the interim, we encouraged airports to voluntarily conduct WHAs regardless of whether or not they had experienced a triggering event or were a Class IV airport. Class IV airports are exempt from part 139 regulations requiring a WHA when a triggering event occurs. Currently, 19 certificated airports have not yet completed or initiated a WHA. However, these 19 airports have voluntarily agreed to request Airport Improvement Program grant funding in fiscal year 2013 to initiate a WHA. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by February 2014.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 2/29/2012
Response: We are aware that the FAA did not meet its projected date for publishing the notice of proposed rulemaking by the end of January 2012. Accordingly, please update us as to the currently anticipated publication date. In the meantime, pending issuance of a final rule to require all certificated airports to conduct a WHA, regardless of whether they have experienced a triggering event, Safety Recommendation A-10-75 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/24/2011
Response: J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: In June 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initiated a rulemaking to require all part 139-certificated airports to conduct WHAs. The previous response letter dated September 23, 20 I0 stated that the FAA had appointed a rulemaking team and was developing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM continues to move forward in the rulemaking process. The projected date for publication of the NPRM is January 2012, with the comment period scheduled to close in April 2012. We plan to publish a final rule approximately 16 months following the closing of the public comment period. I will keep the Board informed of our progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by October 2012.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/17/2011
Response: The FAA's initiation of a rulemaking project to require all certificated airports to conduct a WHA, regardless of whether they have experienced a triggering event, is directly responsive to this recommendation. In addition, the FAA issued CertAlert Number 09-10, which reminded certificated airports that had experienced a triggering event but had not conducted a WHA to initiate one immediately; it also encouraged certificated airports that had not experienced a triggering event to initiate a WHA. To support airports in conducting WHAs, the FAA is making Airport Improvement Program grant funds available for WHAs and WHMPs. Pending issuance of a final rule to require all certificated airports to conduct a WHA regardless of whether they have experienced a triggering event, Safety Recommendation A-I 0-75 is classified OPEN – ACCEPTABLE RESONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/23/2010
Response: CC# 201000368: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: Currently § 139.337 requires certificated airports to conduct a WHA if they experience a triggering event. A triggering event is: I. An air carrier experiences multiple wildlife strikes; 2. An air carrier aircraft experiences significant damage; 3. An air carrier aircraft experiences an engine ingestion of wildlife; or 4. Sizeable numbers of wildlife capable of causing an event above are observed to have access to any flight pattern or aircraft movement area. We are moving to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS) to become more proactive in identifying and mitigating risks before an accident occurs. In the spirit of SMS, we agree that airport operators should know and understand the risk to aircraft operations from wildlife strikes. We initiated actions to require certificated airports to conduct WHAs shortly after the US Airways Flight 1549 incident and well before this recommendation was issued. On June 11, 2009, we issued CertAlert Number 09-1 0 (enclosure 2), which reminded certificated airports that had experienced a triggering event but that had not yet conducted a WHA to initiate one immediately. The CertAlert also encouraged certificated airports that had not experienced a triggering event to initiate a WHA. To support airports in conducting WHAs, we are making Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funds available for WHAs and WHMP. At the same time, we initiated a rulemaking project to require all certificated airports to conduct a WHA regardless of whether they have experienced a triggering event or not. A rulemaking team has been appointed and is developing a Notice of Proposed rulemaking (NPRM). We anticipate the NPRM will be issued in the third quarter of 2011.