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Limited flights but bird, animal strike incidents rose significantly at Indian airports in 2021

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Limited flights but bird, animal strike incidents rose significantly at Indian airports in 2021

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Bird and animal strike incidents are considered one of the most potent threats to flight operations. In August 2019, a flock of seagulls struck the engines of Ural Airlines’ Moscow-Simferopol flight, following which the plane crash landed in a cornfield, injuring 74 passengers.

Limited flights but bird, animal strike incidents rose significantly at Indian airports in 2021
Indian airports saw a significant increase in bird and animal strike incidents in 2021, notwithstanding the limited number of flights operating in the country last year due to coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.
Bird and animal strike incidents are considered one of the most potent threats to flight operations. In August 2019, a flock of seagulls struck the engines of Ural Airlines’ Moscow-Simferopol flight, following which the plane crash landed in a cornfield, injuring 74 passengers.
There were 1,466 bird strike incidents (27.25 per cent increase) and 29 animal strike incidents (93.33 per cent increase) in 2021 across Indian airports as compared to 2020, according to aviation regulator DGCA’s data that has been accessed by PTI. When figures of 2021 are compared with figures of pre-pandemic year 2019, the increase in bird and animal strike incidents at the Indian airports stand at 19.47 per cent and 123 per cent, respectively.
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According to government officials, one of the major factors behind the increase in the number of bird and animal strike incidents in India during 2021 could be that the airports were quieter than usual due to limited number of flights amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quieter airports attract more birds and animals, they noted. The second COVID-19 wave had hit India hard in April-June period of 2021. The number of monthly domestic passengers dropped to just 21.15 lakh in May 2021 and only around 10 per cent of international flights were operating in India during April-June 2021 period, the officials stated.
According to the data of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in 2020, there were 1,152 bird strike and 15 animal strike incidents at the Indian airports. In 2019, there were 1,227 bird strike and 13 animal strike incidents, and in 2018, there were 1,214 bird strike and 19 animal strike incidents at the Indian airports, the data stated.
The DGCA, in a 2018 circular, had said that the presence of wildlife on and in vicinity of an airport poses a ”serious threat” to aircraft operational safety. When .
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