In addition to dealing with more than 47 million passengers every year, John F. Kennedy International Airport officials have been dealing an unlikely but slow moving infestation: diamondback terrapins.
The airport is located alongside Jamaica Bay and has been plagued in recent years by turtles, which have started to cross over runways as they attempt to find a nesting ground.
The turtles have become a slow-moving nuisance to the airport, causing runway closures and delays for passengers. According to The Associated Press, during last year’s mating season airport employees had to carry 1,300 turtles off the tarmac to safety.
But in an effort to keep the planes running on time and the turtles safe, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials are installing piping along runways to keep the turtles out, according to the New York Post.
“We’re trying to find a balance between nature and aviation,” Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico told the New York Post. “We don’t want to see the turtles get hurt, and this should keep the airport running smoothly.”
The airport will install 4,000 feet of 8-inch plastic piping along the runway closest to the bay. The barrier will apparently come just in time: The Port Authority’s Twitter account recently posted a few photos of 200 turtles that were cleared from the area.