Fly EastAfrica

"Bird strikes pose big disasters to air transport" 

A bird strike is a collision between an airborne creature and an aircraft. It is sometimes called bird ingestion where an engine is involved or just a bird aircraft strike hazard. Bird strikes pose significant threats to flight safety and may result to accidents and delays of flights.

During take-off, birds may get sucked or ingested into the engine causing damages. The entire plane systems may be disenabled and the aircraft even put into flames. Finances of course will not be spared as pilots are forced to make emergency landings or crashes. On the 29th/Nov/2016 for example, RwandAir flight WB202 from Kigali to Lagos was cancelled when its new Boeing 737-800NG fell victim. The airline had to encounter extra costs in booking accommodation and food for all its affected passengers. 

The most intriguing question is why birds love the airports and especially the runways. The answer is simple. Some airports are located near water bodies and when it rains sometimes, water collects on the runways, taxiways and surrounding places. Such locations normally offer food, water and good vegetation cover. The vegetation cover offers good resting and nesting places for the birds. The bushy areas, weed patches, shrubs and airport structures make for a suitable habitat. Negligence by airport management bodies when it comes to waste management avails even more food for these birds.

Keeping away the birds can be very challenging with the availability of food, water and vegetation cover. Environmentalists will forever be disturbed by the idea of shooting down the birds. This then begs for the ecologists to be engaged in habitat modifications around airports. Bushes can be reduced, grass height and waste managed to reduce availability of food, water, resting and nesting places for birds.

Frightening the birds can also be an effective way to repel birds. But this calls for constant monitoring and use of pyrotechnic devices, short guns and shell crackers by patrol teams to dispatch these birds. However if used often, the birds may get used to them and these won’t be as effective as expected.