Sunday, March 21, 2021

Flights at risk, Kolkata airport again seeks nod to cull jackals

Kolkata: Unable to control the jackal menace, Kolkata airport authorities have written to the state forest department, seeking permission to cull animals that abound the airport grounds and are a major threat to flight safety.

Listed as a Schedule III animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the Golden jackal enjoys protection. Circumventing it to exterminate the population at the airport will require special permission, first from the state authorities and then from the Centre.

This is the second time in three years that the airport has made such a request.

“Over the past several days, sightings of jackals have shot up, triggering alarm bells. Last month, pilots reported jackals on or near the runway on more occasions than ever before. This is extremely disconcerting,” said Kolkata airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee.

Two pilots reported spotting jackals on February 26. The next day, another pilot reported seeing a jackal. Altogether, 10 sightings were recorded in February.

Not only have incoming flights been forced to abort landing, pilots are now extremely wary of failing to see the animal from air and then colliding with one after touchdown.

“A collision with a jackal weighing 8-10 kg can lead to a major accident that can put the lives of passengers in peril and cause substantial damage to aircraft,” captain Sarvesh Gupta said.

When a pilot reports a jackal on the runway, he is asked by the air traffic control to go-around and a runway inspection team is sent to the landing strip to drive away the animal.

20/03/21 Subhro Niyogi & Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment