Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Environment

New weapon against bird-strike at airports

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 01:36

Aug. 24 - New Zealand scientists have developed a bird-repelling grass designed to reduce the number of bird strikes at airports. Marketed as ''Avanex'', the grass is infected with a fungus that birds won't eat and is seen as an important new weapon in a fight that costs the airline industry about $1.4 billion each year. Rob Muir reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

This grass seed is being hailed as a breakthrough in the effort to rid airports of birds. Turf company PGG Wrightson is commercialising it and business manager Cameron Healey says demand is unprecedented. SOUNDBITE: (English) CAMERON HENLEY, BUSINESS MANAGER - PGG WRIGHTSON TURF, SAYING: "We've been staggered by the interest we're getting in this grass." The grass, marketed as " Avanex", contains a fungus that sickens - but doesn't harm - birds when they eat it, according to agricultural scientist, Dr. Chris Pennell. SOUNDBITE: (English) DR CHRIS PENNELL, SCIENTIST - AGRESEARCH, SAYING: "It's a natural drug that's in the grass that birds avoid once they eat it." The grass could be an ideal deterrent at airports, where birds are a frequent hazard to planes In July, 2008 a bird-strike incident led to the aborted take-off and evacuation of an Air Mauritius Flight in New Delhi. And in January the following year, after colliding with a flock of geese, a US Airways pilot was forced to land his aircraft on New York's Hudson River. SOUNDBITE: (English) DR CHRIS PENNELL, SCIENTIST - AGRESEARCH, SAYING: "Bird strike is a 1.4 billion dollar problem to the aviation industry, and if we can reduce the attractiveness of an airport then we don't have to use guns and flashing lights. Just chase them away." And the developers see potential for their product elsewhere. SOUNDBITE: (English) CAMERON HENLEY, BUSINESS MANAGER - PGG WRIGHTSON TURF, SAYING: "There's no reason this technology can't be taken into other grasses and in other areas such as golf courses, sporting fields, recreation reserves, even front and back lawns." An idea they're pleased to say, is strictly for the birds. Rob Muir, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

New weapon against bird-strike at airports

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 01:36

Top News »

Editors' Picks »

Business »

Moving Pictures »

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Real-life superheroes Real-life superheroes

Tue, 28 Oct, 2014 - (1:44)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Oddly Enough »

Bolshoi's 'Snow Queen' a snow dream for children Bolshoi's 'Snow Queen' a snow dream for...

Thu, 27 Nov, 2014 - (1:27)

Buffalo on a rampage injures 14 in China Buffalo on a rampage injures 14 in China

Tue, 25 Nov, 2014 - (0:30)

Thailand hosts the largest gathering of Santa's Elves Thailand hosts the largest gathering of...

Tue, 25 Nov, 2014 - (0:54)

Yellow-spotted turtles rescued from trafficking Yellow-spotted turtles rescued from...

Mon, 24 Nov, 2014 - (0:44)

Deadly Japanese pufferfish discovered in Crimean waters Deadly Japanese pufferfish discovered in...

Mon, 24 Nov, 2014 - (1:37)

Vintage cars roll through Pakistan Vintage cars roll through Pakistan

Mon, 24 Nov, 2014 - (1:22)

Birds around the world take flight Birds around the world take flight

Sat, 22 Nov, 2014 - (2:00)

Calling all men: here's your chance to experience labor pains Calling all men: here's your chance to...

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (1:43)

Annie Leibovitz showcases historic "Pilgrimage" Annie Leibovitz showcases historic...

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (1:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Where the sea is closing in Where the sea is closing in

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (3:41)

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:22)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, 17 Dec, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sun, 09 Dec, 2012 - (10:02)