Aircraft collisions with birds and other wildlife are a growing concern for aviation safety across the globe. According to data from the Federal Aviation Administration, wildlife strikes killed more than 292 people and destroyed over 271 aircraft between 1988 and 2019 globally.

In October 2019, the US Navy suffered at least $2 million in damages after a bird got sucked into one of the engines of its doomsday aircraft E-6B Mercury. No wonder the Pentagon spends around $50 million every year to manage bird life around US airfields. And now, drones are being called upon to join the fight.

Search and destroy

The Navy is developing an autonomous drone that would search for nuisance bird nests and eggs in and around airfields. Once a target is detected, an operator can make the final decision as to whether to initiate oiling and prevent the eggs from hatching.

Oiling is a process that has been deemed a humane way of stopping eggs from growing into birds by the Human Society of…