News: Pigs help keep land next to Polderbaan bird-free

Have you seen these cute animals? Recently, 20 pigs have been foraging on the land between Polderbaan and Zwanenburgbaan runways. They help to eat the crop residues of the newly harvested sugar beets, so that no birds come and eat them. This means a tasty meal for the pigs and hopefully fewer birds coming too close to the planes.

Published on: 4 October 2021

Pig pilot project

The pigs are part of a pilot project that is being conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Buitengewone Varkens, and RVR Loonbedrijf. In the coming weeks, bird activity in the area with the pigs will be compared to a reference plot without pigs. The success of the project will be measured using a special bird radar which will map the areas at Schiphol and its surroundings that are frequented most by birds, along with visual observations.

Keep birds away

To ensure an optimum degree of aviation safety, Schiphol is already taking structural measures to keep birds as far away from aircraft as possible. Twenty bird controllers are currently keeping track of bird activity at the airport. They work throughout the airfield to keep the birds away at all hours of the night and day, using technology varying from special sounds to laser beams. Other measures are also in place to keep the airfield as unappealing as possible for birds such as special types of grass.