Chennai

Bird hits touch new highs, AAI pitches in with preventive steps

29 instances were recorded till November this year, the highest in last 5 years

It is not uncommon to find pigeons hopping from one table to another inside airport terminals, feeding themselves on leftover food. Instances of birds getting into the flight’s path at the city airport is becoming increasingly common.

The airport has witnessed 29 bird strikes till November this year. This is the highest in the last five years, with October and June recording as many as four each.

While there was only one confirmed bird hit in 2016, it grew to seven in 2017, and there was a steep rise to 24, last year.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) say that though there has been no major incident so far, these do pose a potential risk to the aircraft.

“We usually just find kites and pigeons, and it has increased whenever the city gets some good rain. Whatever we have witnessed this year may have occurred only in lower altitudes. We have been taking various measures, like pruning the grass on the airside of the airport, but the issue continues to persist,” an official said.

But what will help in curbing the incidents is keeping the neighbouring areas of the airport clean.

“Not just the airport, the surrounding 10 km should also be free of huge mounds of garbage, and eateries, which mainly attract the birds. But this doesn’t seem to happen. It is very difficult to remove or relocate the meat stalls near the Pallavaram area. So we have been thinking we could provide shelters to these stalls. This, we believe, can make some difference,” another official said.

This apart, they have appointed a consultant, who is conducting a study to monitor the pattern of bird hits and how it can be brought down.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:41:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/bird-hits-touch-new-highs-aai-pitches-in-with-preventive-steps/article30314887.ece

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