35% rise in animal and avian strikes at Ahmedabad airport
However, the alarming increase in the previous fiscal year is a grave concern according to aviation experts
After a brief lull in 2021-22, the number of bird strikes at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad has begun to rise again.
Some 38 aircraft landing or departing from the city airport suffered bird hits in 2022-23, up 35% against 29 in 2021-22 - the lowest in a five-year period, suggests data by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Bird strike incidents touched an alarming 73 in 2019-20 - the year before the Covid-19 lockdown, which dropped to 41 in 2020-21, thanks to a slew of wildlife management measures taken by the city airport authorities.
Back then, the airport was managed by the AAI, which had commissioned a study to the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), to identify wildlife presence in the airport premises and take necessary measures.
AAI had also deployed a man dressed like a gorilla outside the airport terminal to shoo the langurs away, which was another safety concern.Reduced aircraft movement due to Covid-19 restrictions, in addition to these measures, led to a reduction in bird strikes.
However, the alarming increase in the previous fiscal year is a grave concern according to aviation experts.