Cash-strapped airlines have been pounded on another front suffering a loss of at least Rs 7 crore this year on account of bird hits. As of October, 241 bird-hit cases were reported.

Kingfisher airlines suffered the most, with 60 such incidents, followed by Jet Airways (49), SpiceJet (30), Indigo (27), Air India (24) GoAir (7) and Paramount (1).

International airlines had also reported 34 such incidents, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Ministry today.

Jet Airways suffered a loss of Rs 8.91 lakhs, Indigo Rs 87 lakh, Spice Jet Rs 5.57 crore and GoAir Rs 45.6 lakh. The figures of losses incurred by Air India and Kingfisher were not available.

The National Bird Control Committee (NBCC) set up by Ministry of Civil Aviation on the recommendation of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) met under the chairmanship of Civil Aviation secretary M.M. Nambiar and suggested several measures to reduce the number of such cases.

Last year, there were about 304 bird-hit cases, while in 2007 and 2006 it was 217 and 167 respectively.

Ahmedabad airport reported an increasing number of bird hits.

The NBCC has made it mandatory for airlines to report online about any bird-hit incident and put on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) website.

“Pilots have been instructed to follow correct bird-strike reporting procedure,” a statement from the ministry said.

They also reviewed the action taken by the DGCA upon the directions issued by it in its first meeting in June, like those to state governments for active participation of Chief Secretary/Commissioner/Head of the District in the Airfield Environment Management Committee (AEMC) meeting of Airport along with local civic body representatives or police.

They also discussed problems of abattoir in Gazipur and Sadar Bazar area, which attract scavenging birds.

Apart from it, the committee also suggested amendment to sections of Aircraft Rules to allow imposing of fine of Rs 100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both for the offense of leaving any animal, object or bird in the movement area of an aerodrome.

Equipment and methods used at various airports, both public and private, for bird strike prevention were reviewed.

DGCA, on the basis of airline reports, has identified Ahmedabad airport as the one showing increasing number of bird strike and the AEMC has been directed to prepare an action plan for time bound control of bird activity and its implementation.

The scope of NBCC has been widened to include animals and guidelines have been issued to airport operators and airlines to carry out special drive before the monsoon.

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