Aena installs Spain’s first avian radar at Bilbao Airport

Aena installs Spain’s first avian radar at Bilbao Airport
Aena installs Spain’s first avian radar at Bilbao Airport

Bilbao Airport now has the first avian radar installed in Spain to detect the movements of the birds that usually share the airspace surrounding the airport with aircraft. The 3D radar system installed, which is the same as the one used to detect wildlife at airports such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, is being put into operation to reduce the risk that these animals can pose to air operations.

The information provided by the radar is expected to provide insight into the flight paths of birds through the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Likewise, the new radar will improve the measures implemented to mitigate the danger of collision with wildlife, by allowing greater knowledge of the flight habits of the birds that frequent the area around Bilbao airport, and will provide additional information in the event of any impact and other events with wildlife in operations departing from and arriving at the airport.

After the installation of the radar, training will be given to Aena technical and management personnel, and additional information will be provided in the event of any impact or other events with wildlife during operations on departure and arrival.
and management staff and will be tested effectively until the first quarter of 2023, using the first months to collect data that will allow the deployment of functionalities in the equipment. Operational results are therefore expected to be available at least five months after the radar is put into use.

The use of this technology will provide data on bird flows and movements around Bilbao airport, and will allow the design of mitigation measures adapted to the species at greatest risk for operations at this airport. The tool will help to characterise bird movement patterns and identify bird attraction points.

This project is part of Aena’s Strategic Innovation Plan, a commitment to R&D&I that improves processes, increases efficiency and further enhances operational safety. With its innovative efforts, Aena seeks to validate cutting-edge technologies that will enable it to remain a leader in the sector and a benchmark in the use of technology.