Airport Facilities

Piper the Airport K-9 is on duty

Piper is on duty, keeping the airport safe.


The Federal Aviation Administration requires the Cherry Capital Airport have a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan in place to mitigate wildlife hazards to aviation. The plan calls for several methods of wildlife mitigation, including lights/sirens, pyrotechnics, traps, habitat modification and dogs. Though rare, dogs are one of the most effective methods of wildlife mitigation at airports.

K-9 Piper is a proactive approach to wildlife management and aviation safety. He is the only Wildlife Control K-9 on staff at an airport in Michigan and, we believe, one of less than ten in the United States.

Piper in the News!

Piper is everywhere. Check out the stories around the net! (Read more...)

Epic-looking guard dog of Michigan airport takes Reddit by storm

MLive.com - Feb 21, 2016
TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Denizens of Reddit – where participants vote submitted content either "up" or "down" – were quite taken with Piper the guard dog. An animated GIF image of the dog coolly glancing at a rescue chopper stirring up clouds of snow, was "upvoted" by 97 percent of Reddit viewers, hitting the top of the GIF section of the website and receiving some 5,901 points by early Sunday afternoon. (view the image...) | (read the M-Live article...)

Border Collie Works Full Time Keeping Airport Runways Clear for Planes

Don't blame tarmac delays on the birds at one Michigan airport. This dog is working hard to chase them away. Meet Piper, a Border Collie whose sole job is wildlife patrol along the runway here at Cherry Capital Airport. (Watch the video...)

What does he do?

K-9 Piper’s function is to increase safety by responding directly to reports of wildlife and conducting regular patrols. He spends most of his time chasing birds away from the runways and taxiways. Border Collies are perfect for this type of work because they are natural herders.

K-9 Piper and his handler

K-9 Piper is a 8-year-old, high drive Border Collie who loves to work.  His handler, Brian Edwards, has been at the Cherry Capital Airport as an Airport Operations Supervisor since 2008.  When they are not working, they are training.  They have even won a few 5k obstacle races together!

Piper the Airport K-9 on Instagram

Piper on Instagram

Piper on YouTube

View more videos on Piper's YouTube channel.

K-9 Piper in the news

Avoiding Bird Strikes (read more...)

In this Special Report, Brittany Wright breaks down what the Cherry Capital Airport is doing to scare off wildlife before they get too close to a plane.

Read more...

Meet Piper, the bird-chasing dog who keeps a Michigan airport safer (read more...)

MLive.com - Mar 30, 2015
TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- Cherry Capital Airport staff know the dangers birds can pose to aircraft. Just last May, a loon struck an incoming plane...

Dog in charge of wildlife control at airport (read more...)

UpNorthLive.com - Apr 1, 2015
Piper is leading the way for other dogs, Edwards believes Cherry Capital Airport is the only airport in Michigan that uses a dog for wildlife

Putting teeth in bird mitigation (read more...)

AOPA Pilot - Apr 3, 2015
From the birds' perspective, Cherry Capital Airport is a decidedly unfriendly place. It's been that way for years—humans have limited food and...

Michigan Dog Protects Planes From Avian Intruders (read more...)

WILX-TV-Apr 3, 2015
Explore in depth(3 more articles)

Border Collie Herds Birds Away From Planes (read more...)

NBCNews.com - Apr 2, 2015
NBC News Channel Meet Piper, a seven-yard-old border collie, who puts in 40-hour work weeks at Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan scaring (read more...)

Window Seat: A six-year-old border collie has joined the team (read more...)

Tulsa World (blog) - Apr 1, 2015
Several months ago Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, began using a six-year-old border collie to clear its runway, according to...

Border collie in charge of wildlife control at airport (read more...)

WSAV, Savannah, GA - Apr 8, 2015
A 8-year-old border collie named Piper has a very unique job. Piper works 40 hours a week at Michigan's Cherry Capital Airport.

A Different Kind Of 'Bird' Dog | Gear Junkie

The friendly skies are a little safer thanks to dogs like Piper.

Have a question or media inquiry? Please contact Brian Edwards.

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