Aena installs first Spanish avian radar at Bilbao Airport

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The total investment exceeds 850,000 euros

Bilbao Airport already has the first avian radar installed in Spain to detect the movements of birds that usually share the airspace surrounding the airport with aircraft.

The installed 3D radar system, which is the same one they have chosen to detect wildlife at airports such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, is put into operation with the aim of reducing the risk that birds can pose to air operations.

The information provided by the radar is expected to reveal the flight paths of birds through the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Likewise, the new radar will improve the measures implemented to mitigate the danger of collision with fauna, by allowing greater knowledge of the flight habits of the birds that frequent the surroundings of the Bilbao airport, and will provide additional information on impacts and other events with fauna in takeoff and landing operations.

After the installation of the radar, training will be given to Aena’s technical and management staff and it will be tested effectively until the first quarter of 2023, using the first months to collect data that allow the deployment of functionalities in the equipment. For this reason, it is expected to have operational results after at least five months from the start of the use of the radar.

The use of this technology will provide data on bird flows and movements in the surroundings of Bilbao airport, and will allow the design of mitigating measures adjusted to the species of greatest risk for operations at this airport. The tool will help characterise bird movement patterns and identify their attraction foci.

This project is part of Aena’s Strategic Innovation Plan, a commitment to R+D+i that improves processes, increases efficiency and further increases operational safety. With innovative efforts, Aena seeks to validate cutting-edge technologies that allow it to remain a leader in the sector and a benchmark in the use of technology.

March 15, 2022

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