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Plane truth: Bird trouble in the air

FLOCKS OF migratory birds feeding around Amausi airport?s operational area are raising serious air safety concerns.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2006 01:05 IST

FLOCKS OF migratory birds feeding around Amausi airport’s operational area are raising serious air safety concerns.

The rising number of meat shops in Sarojini Nagar, LDA Colony and Krishna Nagar in the proximity of the airport are regarded as potential air safety hazards by civil aviation authorities for the aircraft landing and taking off from Amausi.

The concerns being expressed are manifold. Primary among them is that certain pilots of commercial airliners fly low over residential areas. These planes face the highest risk of being hit by the migratory birds hovering around the airport.
Amausi airport authorities say there are not less than 200 meat shops in the 3 km-periphery of the airport. The migratory birds are attracted to places near meat shops in the proximity of the airport’s operational area on Kanpur Road. The area is not very far from adjoining residential colonies.

Last month, the Airports Authority of India  (AAI) floated a tender for offering a contract for a ‘bird chaser’ required to  ward off migratory birds from the airport’s operational area.

“The migratory birds are a routine problem during the winter. The mushrooming meat shops in colonies around the airport attract them. This has warranted the need for a bird chaser at the airport,” Amausi Airport Director Ravi Prakash told HT.

He said the primary job of the bird chaser was to burst crackers from time to time to scare the birds away from the operational area. “This (chasing birds) is a continuous process to ensure that at no point of time birds get a chance to sit or fly into in any part of the airport’s operational area,” Prakash said.

“Too much urbanisation around the Amausi area has resulted in birds getting attracted to localities nearby. We are scaring away birds trying to sit in the operational area, but nothing can be done about birds which fly over the airport. The garbage in the residential colonies near the airport poses a serious problem,” he said.

Prakash said the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) kept a watch on bird activity in the operational area on a continuous basis. Airports authorities in developed nations do not allow residential colonies in at least a 5-km periphery of the airports and no meat shops in a 15-km periphery.

A high network of open sewer lines, a common sight in LDA Colony and parts of Ashiana, has not made things easier.