Bird/animal strikes to aircraft: 20 airports incl Bbsr put under watch

New Delhi/ Bhubaneswar: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered surveillance of 20 airports in the country including Biju Patnaik International Airport here after they were found prone to wildlife intrusion and bird strikes.

The move by the aviation regulator follows in the wake of a serious security breach at Nagpur airport in September this year in which a herd of pigs scampered on to the runway as President Pranab Mukherjee’s Boeing-737 aircraft was taxiing towards the terminal building after landing.

“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered surveillance of 20 airports to check the problem of wildlife intrusion and bird strikes as part of a safety programme,” a senior DGCA official said.

Among the airports put under watch are Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Hubli, Tirupathi, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Varanasi, Bhubanshwar, Agartala, Srinagar and Bhubaneshwar, the official said.

As part of the State Safety Programme, preventing wildlife (bird/animal) strikes to aircraft was identified by DGCA as one of the most important safety priorities.

According to DGCA, wildlife strike data was collected for the year 2013 to identify the critical airports and analysis of the information revealed that the said 20 airports had high incidence of such strikes.

DGCA data also reveals that incidents of aircraft suffering bird hits had nearly doubled to 719 in 2014 from 378 in 2010.