Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 25:
Tired of the bird menace in and around the airport, authorities of the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Odisha’s capital city have procured costly gizmos and spend lakhs to drive them out. But curiously, they are not even aware of the birds that nest inside the campus itself!
There are quite a few trees around the old airport road that have nests of various small birds, including bat nests.
Airport authorities readily admitted that they had no knowledge about the existence of birds inside its premises. When it was pointed out, BPIA Director Sharad Kumar commented, “The area is inside our campus, but outside the operational zone.”
With growing incidents of bird hits at the airport, the Civil Aviation Ministry has already issued a warning to BPIA authorities asking them to get it under control or risk cancellation of permission to operate flights from the airport.
Notably, there have been 57 incidents of bird hit in past four years. While there were 10 such incidents last year, it has gone up to 11 so far with three full months still left this year.
A bird hit not only proves fatal to the bird, but on most occasions requires expensive repairs for the aircraft. A bird hit in the engine and windscreen can prove extremely dangerous for the plane too.
Apart from the trees, the dense grass in the airfield is also home to grasshoppers, which invite many species of birds. The small drain inside the airfield provides water to them while waste from hotels around the airport provides them with plenty of food.
There are about 49 species of birds living inside the airport compound and more than 100 species of bird living around the airport premises.