Sunday, March 18, 2012

After birds, it's animal scare at Indore Airport

INDORE: After birds' menace, the Ahilyabai Holkar Airport authorities are battling a new problem in the form of stray animals roaming on the runway. The presence of wild dogs and jackals on the runway is giving nightmares for the airlines operating from here.

Airport officials are now planning to seek the help of forest department to deal with the problem.

On Friday, a jackal was spotted on the runway during landing of Delhi-Indore flight. The pilot had great difficulty in landing the aircraft safely.

"Though this was first such incident after shifting of airport operation to the new terminal building in February, we still are taking no chances. We will be taking up the issue with the forest department officials to keep wild dog and jackal away from the runway," said an Airport official seeking anonymity.

When contacted, DFO Saeed Khan told TOI, "The forest department has not received any request from airport authority in this regard. We are willing to assist in every possible manner to deal with the problem."

Even in the past, the department has been sending its team to catch wild animals from the airport area, he added.

"We usually send our rescue team with cage, who set trap and catch jackals and leave them in forest," said Khan adding that in the recent past, forest department had caught three jackals at the airport.

However, he said that wild dog doesn't come under wild animal category and hence it was the responsibility of civic body to catch them.

He further said that airports are generally located on the outskirts of the city and are surrounded by villages and areas without much habitation making it easier for wild animals to stray in. In the areas around Indore airport, jackal, wild dog and few other wild animals are found.

Airport Authourity of India (AAI) has marked Indore airport as sensitive in view of the large number of presence of birds around the airport. Since June 2011, eight incidents of bird-hit have been reported at Indore airport damaging the aircraft.


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