Iquitos, peru, is not ready to fly when you are. The largest Peruvian city in the Amazon jungle and a popular tourist destination, Iquitos is inaccessible by road. Instead, the city welcomes visitors and services its 400,000 residents via its airport. That is, until the airport became host to a convergence of hundreds of vultures, lured by the city's sprawling garbage dump, located nearby.
To accommodate the pesky birds, the airport is forced to suspend operations for eight hours each day. Nevertheless, there have been 19 vulture-related collisions since 2002, resulting in seriously damaged planes, rattled passengers and an increasingly acrimonious civil dispute. Airport officials blame the city for mismanagement of the dump, while the city's mayor says the airport is responsible for scaring the birds away. With skyrocketing jet fuel prices, both parties would be wise to investigate the viability of some sort of vulture-powered air transit.