BPIA, BMC draw plan to prevent bird-hits

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Bhubaneswar: In a bid to combat bird-hits near the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Saturday, stated that it would cover the large vacant areas and dry ponds at OUAT farm to discourage breeding and movement of birds.

The idea was mooted when a discussion on safety measures around airport at a joint-review meeting between the BMC and BPIA was in progress here, Saturday. Other issues like eviction of meat vendors, removal of high-tension wires and removal of encroachments were reviewed in presence of officials from Roads and Buildings department, Cesu, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and others.

Defined as a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or during take-off and landing, bird hits are common but a significant threat to the aviation safety.

“Bird strikes are result of abundant food availability in and around the airport which is mostly supported by large water bodies and open grasslands. Human habitations around the airport also help by providing leftovers as vital breeding material,” explained environmentalist Krushna Mahapatra.

While 13 cases of bird hits were recorded at BPIA in 2017, about 15 were observed in 2018. While over a dozen cases were reported in 2019, rising nesting in the area has raised concerns.

Although all cases are not fatal, if a bird’s carcass or its traces are found in fuselage of an airplane it is termed as ‘bird hazard’.

“We have decided that four ponds that have dried up and formed breeding grounds for birds at OUAT farm will either be filled up or covered. While two of the ponds will be filled with water, the other two will be covered. This will discourage further breeding of birds,” stated a senior official at the BMC.

Meanwhile, the authorities also discussed covering of open drains near the airport. Eviction drives were also planned for removal of unplanned and illegal encroachments near Jagamara side.

Moreover, rehabilitation of meat vendors and slum dwellers were also discussed during the meet.

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