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"Airport Land Use: Texas Scraps Body Farm Plan"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 19:25:06 -0500
Friday, May 11, 2007
Texas State Scraps Body Farm Plan By Airport
KXAN-TV Ch 36 (NBC), Austin (TX)
It is not the farm of dead bodies that has caused concern at San Marcos
Airport; it is the buzzards that are attracted by those bodies that have
residents on edge.
Because, they are quick to point out, buzzards and aircraft create a deadly
No one KXAN talked to was against the idea of having a forensics research
If anything, residents were just concerned about the location.
There are only two U.S. forensic research facilities, called body farms,
which use human cadavers, donated to science, to help researchers study
decomposition and crime scenes.
Texas State University plans to install one in Central Texas.
The university owns a 17-acre site near the airport, and officials thought
it was the perfect location.
But they forgot about the buzzards.
"Hitting a bird in the air, it can do significant damage to the aircraft and
to the occupants of the aircraft," said airport manager Kenny Johns.
It's no secret, decomposing bodies attract buzzards, and that can be deadly
to a pilot.
"That's not something we want to be associated with, so we said we would go
back and start looking at other places to put it," said Mark Hendricks of
Texas State University News Service.
The airport also would jeopardize federal funding if the facility attracted
birds to the area.
"The funding is an issue, but it all stems from life safety, and that's what
it's all about here," Johns said.
University administrators said they would look for alternative sites and
said scrapping their plans at the airport was an easy decision.
Even without a farm of dead bodies, airport officials said it was not
uncommon for a bird to fly into the windshield.
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