Brisbane Airport Corporation has published the results of measures recently taken to eradicate keyhole wasps from its facilities.

Following the discovery of the hazard posed by keyhole wasps to the pitot tubes feeding data to the instruments of aircraft, Brisbane Airport Corporation has taken steps to reduce numbers of the invasive species. Through the implementation of a science-based Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) programme, the airport has seen a 64% reduction in wasp activity at its domestic and international terminals after treatment, and a 94% reduction in wasp food sources. 

The species was identified in Brisbane in 2010, but it is an issue impacting airports around the world. Brisbane Airport (BNE) has conducted detailed research on the species, giving the aviation industry a thorough understanding of the risks mud nesting wasps pose to safe aircraft operations. As a result, BNE has implemented a range of mitigation measures. Its research has also assisted Honolulu Airport and authorities in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. 

"Our research into these wasps is helping airports around the world. We’ve also suggested to aircraft manufacturers they investigate design changes to make components less attractive to nesting wasps," said Peter Dunlop, head of airside operations at Brisbane Airport Corporation. 

Image: Jen Dainer/ Brisbane Airport Corporation