Owls among 16 species to blame for maximum bird hits near airports
Barn owls, red-wattled lapwings and little swifts are likely to have struck an aircraft in midair most often than any other bird in India, finds a one-of-a-kind study.
In addition to these three, the study found black kites and three bat species were also involved in most bird strikes. “Due to their flying ability at night, presence of bats at airports could be threatening,” the report says.
Until now, it was difficult to identify the species involved in bird hits because these collisions mostly happened at high speed, leaving very little of them for investigators to pinpoint the avian variety. It was necessary to pick out the common species responsible for bird hits since such accidents pose a serious risk to human lives and the aviation industry.
Using DNA barcode, the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) in Pune identified 16 species involved in bird strikes. Samples were provided by the navy, while scientists said the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has approached the institute to do a similar exercise for the city airport.
Authorities do not realise small incidents of bird strike until they examine the aircraft to find blood smears, feathers and tissue. “Due to the impact, the bird carcass is crushed beyond recognition,” said Yogesh Shouche, principal investigator, microbial culture collection, NCCS.
The study showed high incidence of bird strikes because of abundant availability of food in small water pools and grasses around airports.
According to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), bird strikes across India rose from 378 in 2010 to around 900 till March 2015. Likewise, data showed bird strikes cost domestic airlines more than Rs 25 crore in 2014.
“Along with financial losses, bird strikes reduce the mission capability of the crew, loss of flying hours, permanent damage to the aircraft and, importantly, it is always associated with the risk of mortality,” the Pune institute’s report says.
Strategies to reduce bird strikes, according to scientists, comprise habitat modification, auditory and visual deterrents, avian radar system and changes in aircraft flight time and route.
“Naval air stations are located close to coastal regions and birds endemic to that region are diffesrent from what you may find inland. Migratory birds play a large part too and if airports are located near water bodies, one faces problems there,” said Mohan Ranganathan, an air safety expert.
Election to the state's 28 municipal committees and 18 municipal councils will be held on June 19 and the results will be declared on June 22, Haryana's State Election Commissioner Dhanpat Singh announced on Monday. Candidates can withdraw their candidature until June 7 from 11am to 3pm. Election symbols will be allotted to the candidates on the same day.
The traffic police on Monday devised a new plan to manage congestion across the city during the monsoon and to ensure timely action by deploying teams at all key points with motors to pump out water before commuters could get stuck, unlike previous years when they would reach these spots after receiving reports of congestion. Police said that on Monday they had to remove accumulated water from major traffic intersections to allow commuters to pass.
Heavy showers, accompanied by hail storms and strong winds, brought much-needed relief to the residents of Gurugram from sweltering heat and hot winds on Monday morning, with the city recording its highest rainfall at 73.4mm in the month of May in the past 25 years. Gurugram on Monday (around 5 30pm) recorded a maximum temperature of 39.3C and a minimum of 16.5C — around five and eight degrees below normal, respectively.
The police have booked several unidentified suspects for allegedly killing a man for resisting a robbery bid near Kharkhari village in IMT Manesar, on the Kundli–Manesar–Palwal Expressway, late Saturday night, said the officials on Monday. Singh succumbed to his injuries around 4.30am on Sunday. Singh was robbed of his cellphone, a silver neck chain, and a few of his other belongings, alleged by his family.
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