Sunday, September 24, 2017

Air India decides to seek AAI assistance to keep birds at bay

Pune: Flustered over two birdhit incidents within a fortnight, Air India has decided to request the airport authorities to find a solution to the problem in coordination with Indian Air Force.
Suhas Jadhav , the station manager of Air India (AI) in Pune, told TOI, "It is a worrying situation for us. The ATC (Air Traffic Control) tower and the runway are under IAF . So, we and the officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) need to jointly approach IAF." Other airlines are also worried. "Birds have hit AI flights twice. This doesn't mean it cannot happen to our flights. Besides a major risk for the passengers, the aircraft suffers serious damage when a bird hits it and repairing it is a costly affair. IAF, AAI and other agencies need to look into the issue, find the cause and plug it," said an official of a private airline operating many flights from the city airport, requesting anonymity .
Pune airport is a part of IAF's strategically vital base for two squadrons of its front-line multi-role combat aircraft Sukhoi 30 Mk-I. The runway and ATC are managed by the Air Force Station and the civil enclave by AAI. An airport official said all systems to ward off birds were in place and under IAF . "There is a committee (Airport Environment Management Committee) to look into these issues. It is convened by IAF and its members consist of officials of AAI, district administration, airlines and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). If the airlines approach us, we will surely take up the matter with the IAF ," the official pointed out.
24/09/17 Times of India/Joy Sengupta