Piper The Bird Chasing Airport Dog
It's not everyday you see a four legged airport employee like Piper. At Traverse City Airport (Cherry Capital Airport) you can see this dog four days a week keeping the airport free from birds that can be a serious threat to pilots.
In total the airport has experienced numerous bird strikes over the years. Even though Piper's job may seem like a small job he plays a huge part with not only keeping pilots safe but helps with the morale of employees and visitors.
Best Travel Destination reports,"Trained by Operations Supervisor Brian Edwards, the other half of the airport's vital K-9 Team, the pair seek out rodents and small mammals who could attract circling birds, and the keen-nosed mutt has proved their best chance of keeping runways bird-free. Accident-causing loons, snowy owls, ducks and geese, which would quickly return to airfields after the sirens, are said to stay away for longer periods now."
Many airports rely on sirens or pyrotechnics to alleviate the risks of bird strikes, but in 2014 Piper was approved for a trial run. He is the only Wildlife Control K-9 on staff at an airport in Michigan. Piper has chased off 2,450 birds and has spent the last few months being reassigned the role of the airport’s Chief Morale Officer, now tasked with getting hugs and attention off the airport staff and bringing a smile to all.