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Schiphol’s War on Geese … Now With Lasers

Following The Great Schiphol Airport Goose Massacre which, as we reported less than three months ago, has seen the gassing of over 17,000 geese over the past two years, the airport authorities have escalated their War on Geese with the introduction of lasers.

These large birds represent a very real threat to airplanes, and their passengers, as they take off and land at airports. A large bird smashing into the cockpit window can gooely obscure the pilots’ view, while birds getting sucked into an engine can cause serious mechanical problems.

Like all airports, Schiphol is surrounded by a large area of uninhabited grassland, making it extremely attractive to migratory birds such as geese, exactly what you do not want. As Europe’s fourth busiest airport, not only serving Amsterdam but, also, acting as a major hub for passengers heading to destinations all over the world, Schiphol’s density of activity makes the danger of bird strikes even more worrying.

Sadly, the massive campaign of recent years to gas the geese, which airport authorities had hoped would be a final solution, has done little to improve the situation because, of course, clearing out one lot of birds only makes those wide open spaces more attractive to the next group of birds to fly by.

Now, however, technology has come to the rescue, in the form of green lasers, which have been found to be effective is used to frighten the geese away from the runways immediately before a plane takes off or lands. This solution will allow geese to set up long-term nests in the surrounding grasslands while keeping them out of the way when necessary.

It also offers the intriguing side-benefit that foreign visitors, as they land into a mesh of pulsating, brightly-colored lasers, will be given the clearest possible confirmation that Amsterdam is, indeed, a party city.

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