Nocturnal raptor disrupts air travel at Pullman-Moscow airport

PULLMAN, WA - The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport is in the process of resolving a bird problem.

Last month, a nocturnal raptor landed on a piece of equipment that the National Weather Service uses to send wind measurements to pilots. An incoming flight that was scheduled to land in Pullman around 11:00 p.m. couldn't get a wind reading and it had to land at the Lewiston Airport, and the passengers had to find a way back up to the Palouse.

"We heavily regret that incident, that situation, occurred and we're doing our best right now to prevent that from occurring in the future," said Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Executive Director Anthony Bean.

There was one more close call before the airport installed spikes on the equipment to detract the birds, and there hasn't been an interference since. However, airport officials are concerned that larger birds can get around them. If that happens, airport workers have to harass it using flashlights or pyrotechnics called "Bird Bangers."