BHUBANESWAR: Birds pose a threat to aircraft movement, particularly during monsoon. Keeping this in mind, the authorities of Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here have initiated measures for effective bird control which is essential to keep the winged species at a safe distance from aircraft and prevent mishaps.The airport officials pointed out that during rainy season insects start breeding in the green fields located in the surroundings and along the runway. The insects and greenery provide an ideal habitat for the birds to breed and forage increasing the risk of bird-aircraft collision.
BPIA officials stressed that their motive is not to kill the birds, but disperse them from the area, including runway. “Our bird hazard control principal is based on 3D’s - detection, distraction and dispersal. We have procured two new six-shot launcher guns along with cartridges, two laser guns and 10 LPG-operated Zon guns,” BPIA Director Suresh Chandra Hota told The Express.The airport used to have about 24 departures everyday till last year and this year the departures have increased to 43 each day, following which the officials have braced up to avoid any bird-hit incident. Besides the new equipment, about eight scarecrows and reflectors have already been set-up at the airport to keep the birds away.
BPIA officials also informed that they have destroyed all the ant-hills and cut the grass to control breeding of insects during rains. “On the recommendation of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) scientists, chemical weedkiller was spread near the runway,” Hota said.BPIA officials and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials are also regularly cleaning the garbage near the periphery of the airport for keeping the area free from insects and flies. Airport officials are holding public awareness campaigns for keeping the surroundings clean which would help in curbing breeding of insects, who attract birds.
The airport officials do not use a technique regularly to scare the birds, as they get acquainted and they do not get scared. Laser guns, reflectors and other equipment are used to scare them, however, if the airborne animals still do not stay away, crackers are used within a safe distance from the runways.In June 2015, two bird-hit incidents were reported in airport, one in June 2016 and three were reported in June 2017. Similarly in July 2015, two incidents of birds hits were reported, two were reported in July 2016 and two incidents were reported in July 2017.