Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) might not have enough manpower to scare away birds from its runways. The airport records the largest number of bird-hit incidents every year.
When a bird collides with an aircraft, there are chances of the bird getting sucked into the plane’s engine, causing engine failure.
There were 67 bird-hit incidents at IGIA in 2008, as against a total of 304 such incidents across the country.
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has outsourced the work of ridding the airport of birds and stray animals to a private agency.
“The airport does not have enough manpower for bird and stray animal management, said an airport official on condition of anonymity.
“Even the people we do have are not trained adequately enough,” he added.
“Till recently, the airport had 45 bird chasers per shift to man the three runways, but the number has come down to 35 now,” he said further.
The bird chasers use high range and high decibel crackers to chase away birds from the near the runways and the flight path.
“With Delhi airport now handling more than 700 flights every day, there should be a sufficient number of personnel to take care of birds and stray animals,” he said.
DIAL, however, vehemently denied the charge, saying they have enough manpower. “DIAL has adequate number of staff on bird chasing and sharp shooting duties,” a DIAL spokesman said.