Each year, lives are endangered and billions of dollars are spent worldwide due to birds and other wildlife colliding with aircraft. In 1995, a military jet taking off from Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base crashed after striking a flock of Canada geese. All 24 crew members were killed and the aircraft was destroyed.
Alaska has 24 municipal airports, an estimated 3,000 private airstrips in the State, and the State owns and operates more than 250 airfields. Alaska has a seasonal influx of migratory birds and most of Alaska's airports have been constructed in the middle of prime wildlife habitat. Due to the close proximity of airfields to migratory bird habitat, the majority of Alaskan airfields experience some degree of a wildlife strike risk.
WS in Alaska contributed 12.817 staff years to assist 22 civil, 7 joint use, and 3 military airports for a total of 32 airports assisted in FY 2010. In addition, technical training was provided at 28 airports for 116 airport personnel.