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Ambling turtle brings some excitement to airport operations

July 5, 2019

The recent wet weather has brought out more than just the brollies and gumboots, with a turtle bringing extra excitement to operations at Gold Coast Airport.

A keen Jetstar pilot on Wednesday brought his aircraft to a halt as it was taxiing towards the runway, after spotting a turtle crossing the taxiway. The aircraft paused a few minutes as an Aerodrome Reporting Officer was called to locate the stray reptile and move it out of harm’s way.

It was the second time that day a turtle was spotted in the area, with an Air New Zealand aircraft paused in the morning while another turtle was relocated.

Gold Coast Airport General Manager Operations and Service Delivery Brett Curtis said wildlife management was a key focus at the airport.

“An important part of the job of our airside operations team is to monitor the airfield and ensure it is free and clear at all times. That includes any stray wildlife,” he said.

“While our specialist safety officers are onsite 24/7 and are continually inspecting the runway and surrounding areas, sometimes a stray animal or bird does make its way into the area. In this case, we were able to locate the turtle and relocate him to a safer area.

“We were pleased to hear our curious friend was relocated to safer territory.”

Wildlife management measures at Gold Coast Airport include inspections of the runway and surrounding areas an average of five times per day, monthly wildlife surveys and risk assessments, and regular wildlife hazard training for our Aerodrome Reporting Officers, who are onsite 24/7.

It is not the first time such incidents have occurred at Gold Coast Airport, with a stray echidna bringing some excitement to the airfield last year, however, birds require the greatest amount of wildlife control at the airport.



IMAGE CAPTION: A turtle spotted airside by one of our Aerodrome Reporting Officers at Gold Coast Airport last month. The turtle was gently and safely collected and returned to the wild after the photo.

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