Two city-bound Kingfisher Airlines flights from different destinations reported bird hits over Mumbai on Thursday morning. Both landed safely at the city airport.
The first incident took place at 9.38am when flight (IT 3162), carrying 136 passengers from Hyderabad, was on its final approach. After landing, the airlines’ engineers cleared the aircraft for the next operation because there wasn’t any major damage.
An hour later, another Kingfisher flight (IT 304) from Delhi also had a suspected bird hit.
The Mumbai Air Traffic Control officials reported finding remains of a bird on the runway soon after the flight landed.
Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson confirmed the first incident but said that there was no evidence of a bird strike on the aircraft flying in from Delhi based on the pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer’s report.
Cases of bird hits have reduced in Mumbai, which till 2006 had the worst record in the country.
According to the data provided by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), frequency of bird strikes in the city have dropped from 1.06% in 2006 to 0.63% in 2009. Till July, it further dropped to 0.55%.
Globally an airport is considered safe if it manages to restrict bird hits to a maximum of 0.85 per 10,000 flight movements (take-offs and landings).
New devices to drive away birds have helped bird chasers, who earlier used firecrackers and sticks.
The 30-member team deployed on both sides of the runway now have high decibel Germany-made guns and laser bird repellant torches that are effective in shooing birds even during heavy rain.