Monday, February 05, 2018

‘Bird problem’ plagues Thiruvananthapuram airport

Thiruvananthapuram: In the third week of January, the Southern Air Command organised a ‘Know your force’ programme for school children where they were invited to visit the IAF air station at Shangumugham. Helicopters, transport aircraft and weaponry were lined up to thrill the youngsters. Apparently, there were also plans to bring a frontline Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter for the event, but the IAF reportedly decided against it due to ‘bird trouble’ in the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Despite the fact the government and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation are fully aware of the potential danger of bird-strikes to commercial and military aircraft, little has been done to address the issue. At the root of the problem is improper solid waste management, the capital city’s number one headache.
The presence of markets in the immediate neighbourhood of the airport and indiscriminate dumping of fish and meat waste attract scavenger birds, especially black kites and crows, in large numbers, posing a very real threat to the approaching aircraft.

“Bird-strikes are a real issue. Inside the airport, we have various mechanisms in place to keep the birds at bay. But we can’t do anything about the approaches to the airport which are outside our limits. We have raised this matter in the Airport Environment Management Committee, which is headed by the Transport Secretary and also with the City Corporation,” airport director George G Tharakan said. A corporation project to set up aerobic bins near the airport for garbage disposal was cleared last year. But the avian trouble persists.
05/02/18 Tiki Rajwi/New Indian Express