Aviation safety regulator DGCA on Monday asked airport operators in the country to review their wildlife management plan for any gaps and ensure strict implementation of the strategies on the issue, a day after two aircraft returned to their airport of origin due to a bird hit.
In a communication to all authorities concerned across airports, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also directed them to ensure frequent runway inspection for bird activities and regular disposal of garbage in the area, among others.
The communication has been marked to the Chairman Airports Authority of India (AAI), its member of operations, directors of all AAI-run airports and the CEOs of Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin Bangalore and Hyderabad Airports.
"During the monsoon season wildlife activity increases in and around airports, and the presence of the birds and animals in the aerodrome vicinity poses a serious threat to operational safety. All airports are requested to review their wildlife management plan for any gap and ensure strict implementation of strategies for wildlife hazard management within and also outside airfields," the DGCA said in the letter, a copy of which was seen by PTI.
Directing the airport operators to ensure the deployment of bird chasers and bird scaring devices within the facility to keep the birds away.
The airport environment management committee (AEMC) should be called to discuss and review the implementation of the measures to reduce birds outside the facility, the letter said, adding that frequent inspection by airport wildlife hazard management teams/AEMC be carried out for identification of sources for wildlife attraction, such as garbage dump, open disposal of abattoir/butcheries waste, among others.
On Sunday, a Delhi-bound aircraft of the SpiceJet airlines carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after taking off from the Patna airport and made an emergency landing minutes later due to a bird hit.
In another incident on Sunday, the pilot-in-command of an IndiGo-operated Airbus A320neo plane VT-ITB, operating flight 6E-6394 from Guwahati to Delhi, decided to take the flight back to Guwahati on a single-engine after the aircraft suffered a bird hit, which resulted in one of the engines getting damaged when the aircraft was at an altitude of 1,600 feet.
In both the incidents, which are now being investigated by the DGCA, the engines got damaged due to the impact of bird ingestion, forcing the flight crew to shut one of the engines of their respective planes mid-way.