Sacramento airport seeks bird-kill for air safety

Calling bird collisions with commercial jets a safety threat, Sacramento International Airport officials this week are seeking a law allowing them to kill birds that can't be frightened from airport grounds by other means.

The county's initiative came, ironically, just two days before a dramatic crash landing Thursday of a U.S. Airways flight into New York's Hudson River after the pilot reported a bird strike, apparently while flying through a flock.

Birds and jets collide frequently, with 7,666 reported instances nationally in 2007, or about one known strike for every 10,000 flights. But it is rare for strikes to cause crashes, injuries or fatalities to passengers, federal officials said.

Sacramento – which lies in the Pacific Flyway bird migration path – has the most bird strikes of any airport in the West, and sixth most in the country, the Federal Aviation Administration reports.

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