In Holiday Week Of Canceled Flights, How Anchorage Airport Handles Four-Legged Disturbances

As many travelers – godspeed if you were on Southwest Airlines flights this week – have endured a Christmas season travel nightmare, Alaska’s main airport, Ted Stevens Anchorage International, has a constant threat of the city’s local fauna wandering onto runways and airport property. Here’s more from the Anchorage Daily News:

The Wildlife Services team is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, said Spencer Nelsen, a wildlife biologist who oversees it.

“Our job is just to help the planes and the wildlife to keep from colliding with each other,” Nelsen said. “When that happens, a lot of times it damages the planes. And it’s never good for the wildlife. They always lose.” …

Monitoring wildlife and hazing them from harm’s way is work done 24 hours a day, seven days a week from spring to fall, Nelsen said. Five specialists work with him from April to October. During winter, two wildlife specialists and Nelsen team up to monitor airport property about 10 hours a day.

“In winter, the species we’re most concerned with are moose, bald eagles and common ravens,” Nelsen said.