Some parts of the aviation community have asked the CAA to update our reporting requirements for near-miss bird incidents, as outlined in Part 12 Accidents, Incidents, and Statistics.

While there are no plans to change Part 12, the CAA has provided guidance, below, to clarify what we require pilots and operators to do when reporting bird incidents.

Basically, it says that pilots have discretion in reporting near-miss bird incidents. That applies to operations at uncertified airfields, agricultural, remote, and private strips.

The need to report bird strikes remains unchanged, as does the requirement to report on near-miss bird incidents at controlled airfields, and at those with active or passive bird control measures.


Civil Aviation Rule 12.3 is clear about what’s required in reporting a bird strike. However, it’s more subjective about the requirements to report a near miss as it refers to “cause alarm.”  While all bird incidents involving a collision between bird(s) and aircraft must always be reported, as required by rule 12.55, this guidance clarifies the CAA’s expectations around near-miss incidents. This is what the rules say:

Rule 12.55(c) requires:

A pilot-in-command of an aircraft involved in an airspace incident or a bird incident must notify the Authority of the incident as soon as practicable if the incident is a serious incident or an immediate hazard to the safety of an aircraft operation.

Rule 12.3 defines a bird incident as follows:

Bird incident means an incident where— (1) there is a collision between an aircraft and one or more birds; or (2) when one or more birds pass sufficiently close to an aircraft in flight to cause alarm to the pilot.

For aircraft operations at, or close to, an attended, controlled airfield or an airfield with active or passive bird prevention measures or management, reporting is necessary so aerodrome operators can feed these reports into their assessment of their bird control operations. Pilots-in-command (PIC) are encouraged to report bird incidents where a near miss was avoided by the smallest of margins, and where no avoiding action was possible, as required by the second part of the rule 12.3 definition.

For aircraft operations at uncertified airfields, private strips, remote landing sites and agricultural strips, reporting near-miss bird incidents is a matter of you judging as to how much "alarm" it caused you. If in doubt, submit a report. PICs may also consider filing a report where specific or changed local bird activity is deemed to be a hazard and external intervention (with an unattended airfield operator or landowner for example) may be necessary. Incidents of this nature can also be recorded for use within an organisation’s SMS.

How to report bird incidents

When reporting bird strikes or near strikes, you can use the Bird incident notification form.

CA005B Bird incident notification form [PDF 57 KB]

However, if you’re reporting a bird strike that’s resulted in damage to an aircraft, you need to submit an occurrence report.

You can do this online: CA005 Occurrence report(external link)

For more information about bird hazards, read our GAP booklet:

Bird hazards [PDF 774 KB]