Taking into consideration the continuous rains and increasing bird activity, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has allowed Delhi International Airport Limited to use crackers to scare birds.
At present, crackers are banned at airports across the country because of security concerns. Delhi airport, however, got special permission to use crackers, as it the most number of bird hits in last two years were registered here.
In 2008 and 2009, Indira Gandhi International Airport reported 67 cases each. This year, 25 cases of bird hits have been reported so far; five of these occurred at Delhi airport.
At present, crackers are banned at 51 airports in the country. The practice of using crackers to frighten birds at airports came under the scanner after officials investigated into a case where firecrackers were found in an aircraft in Kerala.
“After the incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs put a ban on the use of crackers at airports. DIAL had sought an extension from BCAS and got it till July 31. But as the rainy season hasn’t subsided, DIAL requested BCAS to give further extension,” an airport source said.
“Considering the weather condition, BCAS has now allowed the continuance,” the source added. DIAL officials, however, refused to comment on the matter. They said the company has adopted an integrated approach to scare birds and animals at the airport.
“A separate cell has been set up by DIAL to minimise bird activity. DIAL has increased the number of bird chasers to 50 per shift on the three runways. A variety of devices have been procured and used to scare the birds from flight path,” said a DIAL spokesperson.