In the one-year period since a jackal had come between the tyres of a Spice Jet aircraft while it was taxiing at Indore airport, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken a series of steps to make the premises more secure. However, balancing the jackal menace with that of bird hits on the premises is a tricky situation, say officials.
The incident of wild boars straying onto the runway at Jabalpur airport on Friday when a Spice Jet aircraft had landed has brought back the jackal menace at Indore airport into focus.
Talking to HT, Indore airport director Manoj Chansoria said that sustained efforts have helped to curb the jackal menace on Indore airport premises spread over 730 acres.
“We have adopted a multi-pronged strategy to curb the entry of wild animals inside airport premises. Apart from inspection of the boundary wall along the entire perimeter on a regular basis, we have also installed chain linked fence around the runway. Then, tall grass on the outer perimeter has been trimmed to prevent the animals from hiding there. However, the problem is that there are lots of farms on the other side of the boundary wall, and jackals and some other animals dig the loose soil below the wall to enter the premises,” he said.
The airport personnel have managed to capture more than 18 jackals since the last one year after installing 10 cages along the runway.
However, the problem is that cutting the tall grass leads to increase in bird activity as they get attracted to insects and worms moving on the ground. “It’s a Catch 22 situation, as we have to balance the need to curb the entry of wild animals with the need to ensure that there are no bird hits,” Chansoria said.
Officials say that airports are generally located on the outskirts of the city and are surrounded by villages and areas without much habitation making it easier for wild animals to stray in. In the areas around Indore airport, jackal, wild cat, stray dog and few other wild animals are found.
MEASURES BY AAI AT INDORE AIRPORT
Regular inspection of boundary wall
Chain linked fencing to secure runways
Trimming of grass to spot animals
Fencing of drainage to prevent entry of small animals