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In Wake Of Recent Bird Strikes, Gillibrand Seeks To Allow Goose Kills Near Airports

JetBlue Flight 571 was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday evening. (credit: CBS 2)

JetBlue Flight 571 was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday evening. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The problem of birds living near some of the nation’s busiest airports is coming under renewed scrutiny after two emergency landings in a week.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday proposed making it easier to round-up geese from a federal refuge near Kennedy Airport and kill them, an idea some wildlife advocates oppose.

“We cannot afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “We cannot and should not wait another day to act while public safety is at risk.”

JetBlue Flight 571 had just departed the Westchester County Airport Tuesday night when it hit two geese. The pilot declared an emergency and returned safely to the runway.

Last week, a flight bound for Los Angeles had to make an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy Airport after striking a bird. No one was hurt.

Bird spotters and airport employees are using aerial noisemakers to startle the birds to keep them away from the jet engines.

Birds can shatter windshields, dent fuselages and ruin engines. Gillibrand’s bill would empower federal authorities to remove Canada geese from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during June and July when they are molting and can’t fly.

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