Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Aircraft bird hit incidents increase by 62% in H1 of 2023, says DGCA

New Delhi: Last Friday an AIX Connect flight en route to Surat returned to Delhi after the plane's windshield cracked, having suffered a bird hit during take-off. Such bird strike incidents are on the rise in India, DGCA data shows, coinciding with a time when airlines are increasing their flights to meet escalating demand.

The number of aircraft bird hit incidents in India surged by 62.29 per cent year-on-year to 1,149 in the first half of 2023, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) data, as reviewed by Business Standard. Bird hits are not the sole concern; animal strike incidents at Indian airports also increased to 20 in the first half of 2023 from 14 in the corresponding period the previous year.

Bird and animal strike incidents pose one of the most potent threats to flight operations. In February, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that all necessary measures had been implemented to tackle the issue of bird hits, emphasising the importance of maintaining cleanliness around airport areas. "As far as bird hits are concerned, we have put in place all measures at airports, including bird dispellers, sound guns, and other methodologies that will deter birds from airport areas," the minister noted.

Scindia also explained the attraction of birds to areas around certain airports due to uncleanliness. "It is not that they make their homes there, but rather that they are lured by certain objects in the vicinity. Therefore, maintaining cleanliness to ensure that birds do not gather near transportation hubs is vital for us," he added.

15/08/2023 Deepak Patel/Business Standard

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