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DGCA publishes guidelines to prevent mid-air collisions with birds


India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has issued a new set of guidelines for airport operators to verify incidents of plane collisions with birds and other animals following such incidents recently.

DGCA guidelines state that aerodrome operators are required to deploy a wide range of methods and techniques to minimize wildlife-aircraft collisions, including conducting routine patrols in random patterns, informing pilots whenever there is wildlife activity, regular monitoring to spot dangerous wildlife. , and to record and monitor wildlife and bird movement data.

Regular monitoring of buildings and other infrastructure for nests and roosts as well as regular pruning to get rid of dense growth have been recommended.

The DGCA also requested a monthly report from aerodrome operators on the measures taken.

Also read: Go First Flight makes emergency landing in Coimbatore due to ‘false alarm’

The circular, entitled: “Management of potential dangers to wildlife at approved aerodromes”, states: “The activity of birds and animals in and around an aerodrome is a potential source of danger for the safety of the operation of aircraft and the possibility of collision between an aircraft and birds/wildlife Wildlife strikes pose a significant threat to flight safety and have caused a number of accidents and incidents in India.

There have been various bird strike incidents over the past few weeks. On August 4, the Go First flight to Chandigarh returned to Ahmedabad on Thursday after being hit by a bird.

On June 19, an engine of a Delhi-bound SpiceJet plane carrying 185 passengers caught fire shortly after taking off from Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned due to a bird strike.

Aircraft rules prohibit the dumping of trash and the killing of animals that may attract wildlife within 10 km of an airport.

“On the airfield, the main objective is to bring about a change in the behavior of wildlife so that they do not enter the critical safety zones where the aircraft operates. Habitat management is probably the method most important to prevent or reduce wildlife strikes on and around an aerodrome Modifications to the aerodrome habitat/environment to eliminate or exclude food, water and shelter can limit the attraction of birds and other wildlife to the airfield,” he said.

Airports must have a procedure for monitoring and recording data on wildlife movements, he said. Airports should also have a procedure for notifying pilots “in response to any significant concentration or activity of wildlife both on and near the airport”, he said.

Routine patrols are central to the wildlife risk management program, he said. Patrols should be carried out in random patterns rather than a regular route so that wildlife does not learn or become accustomed to the timing of patrols, he added.

Airport operators have been advised to establish a procedure to notify pilots if there is a significant concentration or activity of wildlife in or near an airport. Trail safety inspections will need to be carried out at the same time as other wildlife risk management patrols.

The regulator has issued two means – passive and active management – ​​to control this problem which worsens during the monsoon when wildlife activities increase and “pose a serious threat to the operational safety of airfields. Most wildlife incidents occur during a critical phase of flight, resulting in structural damage to an aircraft”.

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