The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has reported 93 bird strike incidents across airports in the country in the first six months of 2022.
Azike Edozie, Head Bird/Wildlife Hazard Control NCAA disclosed this while speaking at a workshop organized by Search and Rescue Mission of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on Wednesday.
According to Edozie, 60 percent or 54 of the bird strikes incidents was recorded at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.
He said: ”My record shows that we have had at least 93 bird strike incidents in all our airports between January this year to June. And out of this number, 54 of it happened in Lagos Airport alone, which represents about 70 per cent of the total occurrences.
”We all have to proffer a solution to this menace and I do hope we have a lasting solution to it because everyone, especially the airlines are losing money.”
Edozie, however, said that the responsibility of keeping the airspace safe from bird incidents lied with every stakeholder in the industry, including airline operators, security agencies and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
He expressed hope that the respective agencies would find a lasting solution to the menace soon, decrying that airlines were losing millions of dollars to the incident annually.
Also, Adetunji Adetutu, Head of Unit, Bird Control, FAAN, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in his presentation, pointed out that no airline was immune from the incident of bird strikes.
Adetutu explained that FAAN as the airport landlord was doing its best to curb the spread of the incident through the procurement of modern equipment, which he said had gone a long way to reduce its impacts.
He also blamed some of the pilots for the high bird strike rates in the industry, stressing that some of the pilots were always in a hurry to depart an airport for the other and violate the instructions of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and insisted that it was necessary for the airlines and their pilots to also have a change of culture by adhering to the instructions issued by ATCs.
According to him, 98 per cent of bird strike incidents occurred at the airports, especially when taking off and landing.
He said: ”The final say on what happens to the aircraft lies with the pilots. Until the ATC gives clearance for pilots to depart or land, it is necessary for pilots to listen to their advice.
”Airline operators should have a change of culture on how we carry out our duties. It’s the suitability of the environment that bring birds to the airport environment. We have water, shelter and food around the airports. Runway should be free of activities at take off and landing.”
“Apart from birds, we also have wildlife animals, which are also strikes. We hope to propose on mitigation in order to address it. We also need to know the activities of birds too. Statistics that was given earlier indicates that 93 bird incidents were recorded as at September 17, 2022, but 32 of this occurred in just two months,” he stated.
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