Rawalpindi - Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an awareness campaign on bird aircraft strike hazard (BASH) for the general public. At Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIAP), various initiatives are being taken to reinforce the message pertaining to the serious issue of bird strike on the aircraft and its consequences on the aviation industry. The necessary measures would ensure safe and on-time flight operations at the airports, informed a CAA spokesman yesterday.

He said that a bird strike was defined as a collision between a bird and aircraft which was in flight or on takeoff or landing roll. The term was often expanded to cover the other wildlife strike i.e. bats or ground animals. Bird strike is a common and significant threat to aircraft safety and lives of the crew and passengers, he said. He added that major steps concerning the issue of bird aircraft strike hazard at BBIIAP comprises of awareness sessions with different stakeholders to help curb this menace, cleanliness messages displayed in and around airport on billboards, flyers distributed among general public residing around airport vicinity, visits of Environmental Control Officer (ECO) and Safety Quality Management System (SQMS) team with the caterers and hotel management to achieve affective BASH measures, coordination with local administration for regular and timey removal and disposal of garbage from the garbage dump sites around the airport. 

He said that important measures taken for bird control at the airports include deployment of airside inspectors and bird scarers for scaring birds by means of air-sprays on the airfield, use of cartridges, fire crackers and de-nesting. Along with that, inspectors take regular environmental visits to identify bird attractant sources around the airports within 14-km radius.

Media and local cable operators could play a vital role in creating awareness on the hazards of bird activity, which causes aircraft collisions, he said adding that the awareness campaign on BASH will be aired on radio and TV channels along with print and social media.

“Key participants who can help prevent Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard in and around the airport surrounding areas are general public, especially people living nearby airports and commercial places such as hotels, cafes, meat shops and butchers around airports which can create environmental and flight safety hazards encouraging bird activity,” he mentioned.

He informed that the acceptable level of safety (ALOS) as recommended by International Civil Aviation Organization was 1 bird strike over 2,000 flights. According to ICAO data about 6 to 7 percent of all bird strikes result in aircraft damage. The PCCA consistently run aircraft safety campaign every year to ensure that the messages were reinforced and appropriate actions were taken by all relevant quarters to maintain and safeguard operations for smooth flow and on-time performance of air traffic, the spokesman said.