DGCA publishes guidelines to prevent bird strikes at airports

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DGCA publishes guidelines to prevent bird strikes at airports

To check incidents of planes colliding with birds and other animals at airports across India, aviation regulator DGCA issued guidelines for them on Saturday, including carrying out routine patrols of randomly and informing pilots whenever there is wildlife activity.

There have been various bird strike incidents over the past few weeks. On August 4, the Go First flight to Chandigarh returned to Ahmedabad on Thursday after being hit by a bird.

On June 19, an engine of a Delhi-bound SpiceJet plane carrying 185 passengers caught fire shortly after taking off from Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned due to a bird strike.

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The regulator indicated in its circular on Saturday that all airport operators are asked to review their wildlife hazard management program to identify gaps and ensure that it is strictly implemented in and around an aerodrome.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has asked airports to carry out a wildlife hazard assessment and to classify them according to the risk posed to aircraft.

Airports must have a procedure for monitoring and recording data on wildlife movements, he said.

Airports should also have a procedure for notifying pilots “in response to any significant concentration or activity of wildlife both on and near the airport”, he said.

Routine patrols are central to the wildlife risk management program, he said.

Patrols should be carried out in random patterns rather than a regular route so that wildlife does not learn or become accustomed to the timing of patrols, he said.

“Airfield operators are required to submit a monthly report on the measures taken regarding the implementation of the wildlife risk management program and also provide data on wildlife strikes … before the 7th of each month”, a- he noted.

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