Airport mulling 'scarecrow' device

October 22, 2009 7:37:27 AM PDT
Pittsburgh International Airport is haggling with a British firm over the price of an acoustic device meant to shoo birds away from its runways.

Airport officials say Scarecrow Bio-Acoustic Systems, of Uckfield, England, charges about $30,000. The device produces more than a dozen bird distress calls through vehicle mounted speakers.

The airport authority isn't seeking bids because officials haven't found any other companies that produce a similar device. Instead, airport officials are trying to get a discount.

The airport includes 9,000 acres, much of them wooded. Aircraft have hit more than 500 animals, mostly birds, from 2000 to 2008. So far, none has prompted a crash though an owl hit a US Airways plane in 2004, severing a steering cable causing the plan to taxi off a runway.