The bird whisperer

I love nature and I love aviation. They both play a key role in my job.

Oliver Weindl

Bird Strike Officer

Nature conservation at Munich Airport

Oliver Weindl is at work every day to ensure safe flight operations and protect wildlife. As Munich Airport's bird strike and wildlife
management officer, his "office" consists of the extensive greenspaces on and around the Munich Airport campus. His main task is to prevent collisions between animals – mainly birds – and aircraft.

If a plane collides with a flock of birds or even one large bird, it may not only be the birds that bear the brunt of the impact. This kind of collision can also be hazardous to flight operations. For that reason, the colleagues in the traffic management center and Oliver Weindl keep a very close eye on the grounds.

Nature and flight operations play a central role in Weindl's work. With the important responsibility, the seasonally changing priorities, and the contact and cooperation with people from many different departments, airlines and public authorities, his work is filled with variety and is always interesting. He calls it his dream job!

Ingenious biotope management

The airport campus and the surrounding area is designed to ensure that birds posing a hazard to flight operations will simply not take up residence.

One example: tall grasses are the wrong habitat for flocking and predatory birds. That's why mowing is kept to a minimum around the runways.

Another good result of that policy: it benefits such threatened bird species as the Eurasian curlew or northern lapwing. They find a protected habitat inside the airport fence and can breed undisturbed.

An up-close look at the inhabitants of the airport biotope

As the airport's "forester", Oliver Weindl is in close contact with the inhabitants of the airport biotope. There's always something new about nature at the airport to impress him, for example the call of the curlew and the highly intelligent behavior of birds in the crow family.

He also mentions the impressive ability of carrion crows to adapt to flight operations and the way they search for food in a team. Every bird has a role: keeping watch, acting as a decoy, or eating.

I'm always impressed by nature at the airport.

Oliver Weindl

Bird Strike Officer

Related topics