Bird strike incidents in Indian airspace according to DGCA is increased by 52% as commercial aviation significantly increased in 2022, following the pandemic.
The country saw 2,174 aircraft bird strike incidents last year, up from 1,430 in 2021, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
In addition to bird strikes, animal strikes at airports increased from 23 in 2021 to 36 in 2022, according to data examined by Business Standard from the DGCA.
The increase in incidents is attributed to the post-pandemic increase in flights in 2022, according to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages more than 100 airports throughout the nation.
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, the total number of scheduled domestic and international flights in Indian airspace increased by 32.29% in 2022 to 1.3 million.
Bird and animal strikes are regarded as one of the most serious threats to flight operations.
An AirAsia India flight bound for Pune had to make an emergency landing at Bhubaneswar airport earlier this month after being hit by a bird.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated last month that all measures have been taken to address the issue of bird strikes and emphasised the importance of keeping areas around airports clean. "In terms of bird strikes, we have implemented all measures at airports, including the bird dispeller, sound guns, and other methodologies that will keep birds away from airport areas," the minister said.
Scindia also stated that birds flock to areas near airports because they are unsanitary. “It’s not because they make their homes there, but rather because they are drawn to certain objects in that area.”
As a result, keeping areas clean and ensuring that birds do not congregate around areas of transportation that may pose a threat to airlines is critical for us,” he said.
The government-run AAI told the newspaper that it has taken several steps to reduce the number of bird and animal strikes in India.
These measures include keeping grass at an appropriate height, removing rubbish from the airport area, deploying bird scarers, using LPG guns, installing spikes on elevated lights to keep birds away, and removing termite colonies with the help of pest control.
The authority also stated that it is working with the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), various ecology sections of universities, forest departments, zoo authorities, and others to study bird and animal activities near airports in order to make recommendations on how to reduce their presence.
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