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DGCA asks airports to carry out random patrols to check bird hits

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

NEW DELHI, Aug 14: Following several incidents of bird hits on aircraft posing serious threat to the safety of air travel, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued directives to airports across the country to take immediate action to ensure their premises are free of animals and birds.

The aviation regulator directed all airport operators to review their wildlife hazard management programme. It stated that routine patrolling is the key to such a programme. It preferred random patrols instead of routine patrolling as also promptly informing the pilots in case of any wildlife activity.

The airports should have a procedure to notify pilots "in response to any significant wildlife concentration or activity both on and in the vicinity of the airport", the circular said.

"Aerodrome operators are directed to forward monthly action taken report on the implementation of wildlife hazard management programme and also provide wildlife strike data by 7th of every month," the circular issued on Saturday said.

The DGCA asked the airports to carry out a wildlife risk assessment and rank them according to the risk posed to aircraft.

The DGCA circular said the airports must have a procedure to monitor and record wildlife movement data.

On August 5, following a bird hit a Vistara flight heading for Mumbai had to return to Varanasi airport.

On August 4, a Chandigarh-bound Go First flight had to return to Ahmedabad in minutes of take-off in the morning after a bird hit the plane. The bird hit caused engine vibrations.

On June 19, an engine on a Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after it took off from the Patna airport following a bird hit. The aircraft made a safe emergency landing.

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