PROJECTS

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC)—Grass Management Program 2016-2020

During 2016-2017 the IVM Group was engaged by Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) to develop a trial IVM program for the management of mown vegetation. The main aims of this project were to reduce the frequency of mowing and the biomass of grass clippings, whilst maintaining conformance of the vegetation within specifications.

Initial trial objectives

  • Reduce mowing frequency by 50%
  • Reduce vegetation biomass (post-mowing clip/debris by 30%)
  • Reduce wildlife activity

Solution

Implement an IVM program in a trial area for a period of 7 months, from September 2016 through to March 2017. This program was based on site-specific assessments to determine the species composition of the mown vegetation at the airport, and also look into other site conditions including climate. The trial was rigorously monitored in order to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Trial outcomes

  • Mowing frequency reduced by 73%
  • Vegetation biomass reduced by 49%
  • Wildlife activity visibly reduced

Based on the success of the trial program, we set about understanding how what we had learned could be applied to reduce cost and risk in managing the active airfield

Year 1 program objectives

  • Reduce wasp activity (near terminals)
  • Reduce bird activity (near main runway)
  • Reduce post-mowing harassment
  • Reduce mowing frequency
  • Reduce post-mowing debris (Foreign object debris)

Solution

The project involved the development of an IVM program to be undertaken in strategic areas at Brisbane Airport. Consultation with BAC staff, both wildlife and vegetation managers, was split into three sectors based around the Domestic Terminal, International Terminal and Main Runway. We started with understanding the composition of the vegetation around the active airfield. Overlaying vegetation species heat maps with wildlife data—specifically bird counts and bird strikes. Also, utilising TrapView technology as a lead indicator of insect pressure and real time wildlife risk.

Year 1 key outcomes

Wildlife strikes

  • 40% reduction in confirmed wildlife strikes from previous financial year
  • 30% reduction in confirmed wildlife strikes from 3-year average

Wildlife activity

  • 18% reduction in wildlife recorded from 3-year average (program area)
  • 50% reduction in Wasp activity from previous financial year

Mowing cost

  • $93.00 saving in cost of mowing

Year 2 of the program commenced 1st July 2020.

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