‘Queen of the skies’ and the newest member of national carrier Air India’s fleet the Boeing Dreamliner suffered a bird hit while landing at the Bangalore International Airport (BIA) on Thursday.
The Air India flight (AI 403) from New Delhi is said to have suffered a bird hit around 9 am.
Air India officials confirmed that the aircraft suffered no damage and that the 127 passengers on board remained unharmed in the incident. The Dreamliner, said to be one of the most advanced passenger aircraft in the world, started operations to the city on September 19. It witnessed delays of over an hour due to technical issues with the cooling unit of the aircraft.
But authorities said the aircraft landed without problems after the bird hit and also that the aircraft left for its scheduled flight to New Delhi on time.
Bird hits are not new to aircraft operating in and around Bangalore, owing to the presence of garbage dump yards and illegal rearing of catfish in close proximity of both the civil and defence airports.
This, despite repeated attempts by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as well as the BIA authorities to shut down facilities that attract birds of prey and other birds from hovering around airports.
According to a report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, nearly 120 bird hits were reported till June 2012 in various airports of the country. Further, it says that nearly 20 bird hits are reported every month across airports. Earlier BIA had said that they had not witnessed any such incidents as they had set-up a dedicated wildlife management team to avert such incidents.
Airport authorities claimed that they used bang devices, bird expellers and laser torches to reduce bird activity near airports. Increasing bird activity had also seen Bird Strike Research Group of India, along with other knowledge partners, coming out with Micro- Aerial Vehicles (MAV) to reduce the occurrence of this encounter. The National Design and Research Forum along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation have undertaken a `100- crore National Programme on Micro-Aerial Vehicles as well.
The forum said they develop technologies such as Bird Detection Radars, Swarm operated MAVs, Bird Hazing Devices and blue/ green lazer guns at airports.