A snake created panic at the Delhi airport on Monday after it entered and hid inside an Air India aircraft. Though such incidents are rare, the large number of snakes at the airport has become a cause of concern.
A day after the snake was spotted inside the aircraft, the pilot of a SpiceJet aircraft reported to the air traffic control (ATC) about snakes slithering on taxiway E3 and K junction on the runway at 4.50am.
The ATC informed officials of airport operator Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. (DIAL).
“A dead snake was found on the runway by the NGO Wildlife SOS when they came to rescue the snakes,” an airport source said.
“The snake could have entered aircraft of any airline parked at that place. The airport operator should ensure that the snake population at the airport is controlled and we don’t face such problems,” said an Air India spokesperson.
Though snakes are found all over the 5,100acre airport, the area near the secondary runway is the biggest problem area.
The Air India aircraft was standing in a parking bay near the secondary runway and more snakes were spotted the next day at taxiways on that runway.
“Problems have increased in the monsoon season as reptiles like snakes and monitor lizards come out of their boroughs during rain. They also attract birds, which has been resulting in increasing number of bird hits,” said an airport official.
Apart from cobras, which is an extremely venomous snake, other species of the reptile like the Common Krait, Red Sand Boa, Python, Viper and Rat Snake are also found at the Delhi airport.
DIAL, however, said “there have never been any untoward instances at the Airport due to such animals”.