India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has issued a fresh set of directives for airport operators to check incidents of collision of planes with birds and other animals in the wake of such incidents recently.
The DGCA guidelines said that aerodrome operators are required to deploy wide range of methods and techniques to minimise the collision between wildlife and aircraft which includes carrying out routine patrols in random patterns, informing pilots whenever there is any wildlife activity, regular surveillance to spot hazardous wildlife, and to record and monitor wildlife/bird movement data. Regular monitoring of buildings and other infrastructure for nests and roosts along with regular pruning to get rid of dense growth has been recommended.
The circular, titled: "Management of potential wildlife hazards at licensed aerodromes", says: "The activity of birds and animals in and around an aerodrome is a potential source of hazard to safe operation of aircraft and possibility of collision between an aircraft and birds/animals. Wildlife strikes pose a significant threat to flight safety and have caused a number of accidents and incidents in India."
Routine patrolling is the core of the wildlife hazard management programme, it said. The patrols should be carried out in random patterns rather than a regular route so that wildlife do not learn or become accustomed to the timing of patrols, it added.Airport operators have been advised to establish procedure to inform pilots if there is a significant wildlife concentration or activity in or near an airpot. Runway safety inspections will need to be performed along with other wildlife hazard management patrols.