Monday, Sep 26, 2022

DGCA Issues Guidelines To Prevent Bird Hits, Asks Airports To Patrol And Inform Pilots Of Wildlife Activity

The DGCA said that airports should also have a procedure to notify pilots of wildlife concentration or activity in and around the airport.

Representative aircraft
Representative aircraft Facebook/Go First

Following a string of aviation accident in recent weeks, including birt hits, sector regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday issued guidelines to airport to prevent bird hits. 

The DGCA guidelines include carrying out routine patrols in random patterns and informing pilots whenever there is any wildlife activity.

The DGCA said that all airport operators are requested to review their wildlife hazard management programme to identify the gaps and ensure its strict implementation in and in the vicinity of an aerodrome. It asked the airports to carry out a wildlife risk assessment and rank them according to the risk posed to aircraft.

The airports must have a procedure to monitor and record wildlife movement data, said DGCA. It added that airports should also have a procedure to notify pilots "in response to any significant wildlife concentration or activity both on and in the vicinity of the airport", it mentioned.

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 mentioned.

The DGCA noted, "Aerodrome operators are directed to forward monthly action taken report on the implementation of wildlife hazard management programme and also provide wildlife strike 7th of every month."

There have been various incidents of bird hits during the last few weeks. On August 4, Go First's flight to Chandigarh returned to Ahmedabad on Thursday after suffering a bird hit. On June 19, an engine on a SpiceJet Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after it took off from the Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned because of a bird hit.

Besides these incidents, on July 15, a live bird was found in the cockpit of Air India Express' Bahrain-Kochi flight. The DGCA is investigating the incident. 

(With PTI inputs)