BENGALURU: The chief operations officer of the Yelahanka Air Force Station (AFS), Group Captain Amit Pushkar, said that while the bird menace at the AFS has reduced considerably in the recent years, the problem of high rise buildings around the base is a problem.
Speaking to reporters at the AFS Yelahanka on Wednesday, Pushkar said that though requisite checks are in place, violations are taking place.
“If any one has to construct a building within a 20 km radius of the AFS, a no-objection certificate has to be obtained from authorities like the Ministry of Defence and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). However, there have been violations in this regard.”
Pushkar said that there are at least five cranes on top of under-construction buildings in the vicinity of the base which could prove to be a hindrance to aircraft trying to land or take off. Adding to this, Air Commodore S C Gulati, Air Officer Commanding of the AFS, said that meetings have been held with the Bangalore Development Authority and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike recently to apprise them of their problems.
“Towards the end of August, we had meetings with the BDA and the BBMP. They have been quite pro-active and have assured us that they will look into it. However, the talks are still at an early stage at the moment. We will have a firm idea after more such meetings take place,” said Gulati.
On the issue of birds Pushkar said, “We appeal to the public not to litter areas near the base, as birds are attracted to them. We also ensure that the base is kept clean at all times so that there is no bird activity.”
Mi-8 to be Phased Out Soon
Pushkar said that the Mi-8 helicopters which are primarily used to train pilots at the AFS will be phased out shortly as they have come to the end of their lifespan. “We will have new helicopters soon. These helicopters are in the process of selection and haven’t been finalised yet,” he said. However, sources said the Mi-17 will most likely replace the Mi-8.
Air Force Day: The AFS will celebrate Air Force Day, the Day on October 8. On the day, veterans and war widows, apart from other guests are expected to meet and observe the occasion.