The airport administration has decided to rope in a private firm to combat bird menace at the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, said airport director Anil Vikram on Monday.
Mushrooming high-rises, reckless dumping of kitchen waste, presence of eateries, meat and fish shops around the airport lure birds, which often delay aircraft takeoff and touchdown, said an airport official.
“We have floated tenders to hire a private agency,” which would be responsible for keeping birds and stray animals away from the airport, Vikram said.
Nine to and fro flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Patna operate from the airport, which caters to 5 lakh passengers annually.
“If a bird strikes an aircraft, it could damage its engine, elevator and even could break the windshield,” Jharkhand civil aviation department flight instructor Balwant Narayan said.
The airport administration had more than once raised the issue of meat shops and eateries flourishing around airport with the district administration during airport environment management committee meetings.
“It is the responsibility of the district administration to look into the issue,” Vikram said and quoted the Airport Authority of India rules which prohibit meat and fish shops in the vicinity of the airport. This norm is being violated in Hinoo and Birsa Chowk, areas which are barely 500 metres away from the airport.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation had recently removed illegal eateries and shops selling meat and fish in Birsa Chowk during an anti-encroachment drive but the encroachers have returned. “We are now contemplating a legal action against them under the RMC norms,” said corporation sanitation in-charge Ajay Kumar Manjhi .