Amsterdam Schiphol airport has launched a new project using foraging pigs to deter birds from flying into its grounds.

A total of 20 pigs are being allowed to forage on a two hectare plot of land between runways 18R-36L and 18C-36C, where sugar beets were recently harvested.

The pilot is being conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, pig farm Buitengewone Varkens, and agricultural service supplies agency RVR Loonbedrijf.

The initiative will see the bird activity in the area with pigs compared to a plot without pigs, with the use of a bird radar “which will map the areas at Schiphol and its surroundings that are frequented most by birds”.

Schiphol stresses that it “is already taking structural measures to keep birds as far away from aircraft as possible”, with 20 bird controllers keeping track of bird activity at the airport, and using technology including sounds and laser beams to keep birds away.

In addition special types of grass are used on the airfield to make it “as unappealing as possible for birds”.

The risk of potentially fatal bird strikes have led airports to invest in a variety of ways to keep them at bay, from sirens and fireworks to the use of trained dogs.

In 2017 Business Traveller reported on Edmonton airport’s use of falcon drones, which even flap their wings to give a lie-like appearance.

Edmonton airport uses falcon drones to keep birds away from aircraft

For now we’ll leave readers to come up with their best puns for this porcine project – we promise we’re not telling porkies…