Update to February 15, 2017 Airport Incident

February 16, 2017 - At approximately 11:41 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, an alert was issued after an American Airlines crew reported a deer strike during takeoff. The aircraft returned and landed safely at approximately 12:15 p.m. Passengers exited the aircraft and were taken to the Airport terminal on Airport buses. There were no injuries. We would like to thank the emergency responders, Airport staff and the airline crew for their quick response and efforts.

The Airport conducts numerous daily inspections of the perimeter fence. After the incident occurred, the Airport inspected the perimeter fence and determined the deer did not access the airfield through an opening in the fence.

Safety and security are CLT's top priority, and the Airport considers every animal strike to be a serious one. The Airport recognizes the importance of the Wildlife Hazard Management Program. In furtherance of safety and security, on February 3 the Airport issued a Request for Information regarding perimeter fence enhancements. One of the improvements will increase the height of the fence, reducing the potential for unauthorized access.

CLT has been proactive in managing its Wildlife Hazard Management Program and has taken the following actions:

  • 2011 – The Airport created a full-time wildlife management coordinator. All Airport Operations officers were trained in mitigation techniques and receive annual training. 
  • 2013 – The Airport contracted with a qualified airport wildlife biologist and conducted a wildlife hazard assessment.
  • 2014 – The Airport received the assessment recommendations and submitted those findings to the FAA for acceptance. 
  • 2015 – The FAA completed final acceptance of the Airport's updated assessment.
  • 2016 – The FAA approved the Airport's updated Wildlife Hazard Management Plan, which included changes to the perimeter fence by 2020.
  • 2017 – On February 3, the Airport issued a Request for Information (RFI) for Perimeter Fence Enhancements, which will increase the height of the fence to ten feet and include a perimeter intrusion detection system. Based on current responses the Aviation Department has received to date, we believe CLT will be on the leading edge of emerging best practices for perimeter security. 

Currently, the Airport continues to utilize the following measures for Wildlife Hazard Management:

  • Habitat modification, including removal of vegetation and other things that attract wildlife.
  • Non-lethal and lethal measures, including use of exclusionary devices (non-lethal). 
  • Daily patrols to disperse any wildlife found on the airfield.
  • Use of depredation permits issued at the state and federal level. The Airport follows best management practices and guidelines as required by state and federal government permits.

Over this period, these measures have resulted in a reduction in reported deer sightings. Due to the Airport's Wildlife Hazard Management Program, the number of observed deer inside the perimeter fence has significantly decreased from 70 in 2011 to 2 in 2016.

The Airport continues to look for new technologies and practices for mitigating wildlife.

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