On average, two bird-hits reported from Indian airports every day

Ch. R.S. Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 12, 2017

On the aggregate, two incidents of bird-hits (or planes hit by animals) are reported from Indian airports every day and it is a matter of grave concern, which has to be addressed in all earnestness, according to aviation experts. They were speaking here on Tuesday, the second day of a three-day conference on bird-hits being organised by the World Birdstrike Association (WBA), South Asia.

According to official sources, 607 cases were reported in 2012, with damage to 67 aircraft; 736 cases in 2013 (67 planes damaged); 719 in 2014 (81 planes damaged); 764 in 2015 (66 planes damaged); and 839 in 2016 (103 planes damaged). In 2017, 363 incidents were reported till the end of June, with damage to 72 aircraft.

In 2016, New Delhi report reported the highest number of cases, 135, followed by Mumbai, 72. In all, 4,000 aircraft have been damaged in the past five years in 80 airports in the country due to bird-hits or collisions with other animals on the runways.

Co-ordination with civic body

H. Pulla, Director of Tirupati airport, narrated his experiences and emphasised the need for the authorities at the airports to work in tandem with the civic and revenue officials to prevent bird-hits. "Garbage accumulation and the lack of sanitation in the vicinity of the airport is one of the main causes. Birds are attracted to the neighbourhood of airports," he said and added that local communities should also be involved in the exercise.

Hazard management plans have to be drawn up based on scientific studies in each airport and standard operating procedures (SPOs) should be followed, he added. Srinivas Jillela spoke about a software (StrykerAV) application for controlling bird-hits in airports.

Raman Emani, the Director of BirdGard India Pvt Ltd, spoke about bird repellent devices and other mitigation measures such as habitat management in the vicinity of airports. Lalita Vaswani, another director in the same company, also spoke about mitigation measures.

Peter Jarman, another expert, said Kabul international airport was facing a major challenge, as many of the mitigation measures could not be adopted due to the prevailing political situation there.

Published on December 12, 2017
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