Coyotes showing up at Arlington Airport, City working on plan to keep them away

By coffman | Jan 4, 2017 | News, news-home, Uncategorized | No Comments

By Tim Ciesco, NBCDFW 5 News

No matter where they are, all airports, big and small, have run-ins with wildlife. For many, that begins and ends with birds. But the Arlington Municipal Airport has found itsbigstock-coyote-5638077elf getting frequent visits from some much larger critters.

The airport backs up to a wooded area along Fish Creek where coyotes roam.

Their search for food will often lead them near the airport’s perimeter fence, which they’ll occasionally sneak under — putting them right on the runway and in the path of incoming and outgoing planes.

“We don’t want any type of bird or an animal on the runway or the taxiway system,” said Karen VanWinkle, Arlington’s Airport Manager. “So our job is to try to prevent that in any way possible.”

The airport is equipped with wildlife cameras that help them spot any animals that wander onto the runway. Currently, airport employees chase coyotes away with their vehicles.

But VanWinkle says they’re working on a more permanent solution that should keep both pilots and animals safe. They’ve applied for a grant to build a new fence that is designed to prevent animals from digging under it.

They’re also looking into designating land they own near the airport as natural space, where the coyotes can roam freely.

“That way, the animals can have the natural waterways and we’ll keep the airport as safe as possible,” said VanWinkle.

They hope to have the new fence installed within the next two years.

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