Animals roamed the earth long before humans ever arrived, but population growth and technology development has led humans to become the dominant species on our planet. This has unfortunately caused countless animals to lose their ecosystems and become endangered or extinct. The city commissioners in Hays, Kansas have been forced to acknowledge this problem implement a solution that protect important wildlife diversity while still helping Americans maintain their daily travel routines.
Hays Regional Airport Wildlife Fence
Back in 2010, deer were spotted at Hays Regional Airport in Hays, Kansas during an inspection. This led the Federal Aviation Administration to require the airport to build a fence for safety. Like so many other manmade features, Hays Regional Airport shares land with local animals, but this creates critical safety issues for the animals and airplanes alike.
The Federal Aviation Administration is paying 90 percent of the cost of the fence since it is requiring the project, and enough time has passed since that 2010 inspection that other federal funding risks being withheld if the fence is not built in a timely manner.
The Fence Design
The Hays Regional Airport fence will be constructed sometime next year for a total cost of $2 million. It has been designed to be 10 feet tall around the entire perimeter of the airport, including a 1-foot barbed wire outrigger above the fence and a 3-foot skirt below the fence to prevent digging animals from sneaking through.
Though the city commissioners are frustrated to put $2 million toward a project that had not originally been a priority compared to the need for repairing the eastern taxiway and replacing a loader, they recognize that the presence of deer on the runway can lead to severe consequences. As John Braun, assistant director of public works summarized, “The probability is low, but the severity is high.” As of 2017, this airport will be able to operate safely while wildlife can thrive in a safe zone behind the fence.