BENGALURU: A chopper with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on board was hit by a bird at HAL Airport on Monday. However, the pilot landed the chopper safely. Within minutes after taking off, the chopper was hit by a black kite.
The CM, accompanied by Home Minister G Parameshwara and other officials, were on their way to Shravanabelagola. After a thorough check by aviation experts at the airport, the chopper was cleared for take off. The CM and the Home Minister took the same chopper to Shravanabelagola.
The incident highlighted the need for taking measures to deal with bird menace at the airport.
After commercial airlines operations were shifted to the new airport at Devanahalli in 2008, the HAL airport is used by military aircraft and helicopters, VVIP and private jets. Private airlines too use it to train their pilots.
Officials said the stormwater drain in the vicinity of the airfield carries sewage along with waste. Growth of vegetation, presence of insects and unscientific disposal of meat attracts birds.
“The HAL has developed a mechanism to combat bird menace. In the airport area, the drainage is kept clean and as advised by bird experts, measures such as spraying of insecticide, maintenance of grass, clearing of bushes around compound walls etc. are taken,’’ said Gopal Sutar, Chief of Media Communications, HAL.
“We have a dedicated team to scare away birds using crackers and mild firing in the air. In extreme cases, fire arms are used as per permitted procedures. The movements of birds are watched from the tower,’’ he added.