Bhubaneswar: If you have seen Tom Hanks’ movie ‘Sully’, you know how big a threat are birds to airplanes. Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here too is facing the risk of birds entering the engine of aircraft.
The BPIA along with Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) have come up with plans to reduce the movement of birds in and around the airport.
At a joint-review meeting on Saturday, it was decided to cover large vacant areas and dry ponds at OUAT farm to discourage breeding and movement of birds.
Further, meat vendors would be evicted from the vicinity of the airport and high-tension wires would also be removed. Authorities also discussed covering of open drains and removal of illegal encroachments near Jagamara side. Representatives from Cesu, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and others were also present at the meeting.
Bird-hits are common during take off and landing. The Bhubaneswar airport being surrounded by large water bodies and open grasslands make it susceptible to breeding of birds.
While there hasn’t been any fatal cases at BPIA till now, there were 13 cases of bird hits at the airport in 2017, followed by about 15 in 2018 and around 12 in 2019.
“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,” said a senior BMC official.