DGCA issued rules to prevent bird strikes at airports

Amidst an increase in bird strike instances, DGCA issues rules to reduce occurrences of planes colliding with birds and other animals at airports throughout India.

The aviation regulator DGCA on Saturday published rules that included conducting routine patrols in random patterns and notifying pilots anytime there is any wildlife activity in order to reduce occurrences of planes colliding with birds and other animals at airports throughout India.

Various instances of bird strikes have occurred during the past few weeks. After taking a bird hit on August 4, Go First’s aeroplane to Chandigarh made a return to Ahmedabad on Thursday.

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On June 19, shortly after taking off from the Patna airport, an engine on a SpiceJet plane heading for Delhi and carrying 185 passengers caught fire. The plane then made an emergency landing because a bird hit and caused the engine to malfunction.

All airport operators are urged to assess their wildlife hazard management plans in order to find any gaps and ensure that they are strictly followed in and around aerodromes. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked that the airports do an assessment of the wildlife danger to aircraft and rank them accordingly.

The circular stated the airports needed a process in place to keep track of and document data on wildlife movement.

A process for alerting pilots “in reaction to any major animal concentration or activity both on and in the vicinity of the airport” should be in place at airports. The animal hazard management programme should be centred on routine patrolling.

Instead of following a set route, the patrols should be conducted in random patterns to prevent wildlife from picking up on or developing a tolerance for the timing of patrols, advised as per the DGCA circular.

According to new set rules by DGCA, “Aerodrome operators are directed to provide monthly action taken report on the implementation of wildlife hazard management programme and also give wildlife strike data by 7th of every month.”