Saturday, November 18, 2017

After back-to-back bird hits, Chennai airport seeks help from wildlife expert

Chennai: After two bird hits at Chennai Airport in the last two days, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to hire a consultant from Anna University to study presence of habitual, migratory and nocturnal birds in and around the 10-km radius of the airport as well as the height of 5,000 feet to ensure aircraft safety.

During the last two days, two aircraft of Indigo Airlines suffered bird hits at an altitude of above 5,000 feet. On Thursday, a Doha-bound Indigo flight which departed at 1.47 am flew into a flock of birds and it was forced to land at Chennai airport again. Similarly, on Wednesday evening, Chennai-Ahmedabad flight suffered a bird hit at an altitude of 5,500 feet and the aircraft was forced to land in Chennai.

Interestingly, the move to study and provide measures for bird and animal hazard control management in operational area and surroundings up to 10-km radius was initiated a couple of years ago. However, the consultant Vanamitra could not take up the contract as difference of opinion cropped up between Vanamitra and AAI and the project could not be taken up. It is learnt that AAI is planning to rope in K Venkatraman, a former director of Zoological Survey of India, who is currently with Anna University, to help undertake the study.

Director G Chandramouli said the airport has enough infrastructure to stop bird menace in and around the facility, but it could do little at an altitude above 2,500 feet to 5,000 feet. He blamed the bird menace to the civic problem wherein sewer network from Pallavaram and Pozhichalur flow through the airport. The IIT has submitted a report of re-routing the sewers. But the water from the sewer and the canal that stagnate tend to attract the birds.
18/11/17 New Indian Express