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July 18, 2019

Abundance of birds disrupts flights at Lahore airport


July 18, 2019

LAHORE: The flight operations at Allama Iqbal International Airport were disrupted on Wednesday due to the presence of a huge flock of birds.

The Civil Aviation Authority stopped the planes from landing at the airport. The flights were diverted to other airports in order to avoid the chaotic situation. The Lahore airport is surrounded by wedding halls, where leftover food is thrown in nearby areas. Birds gather to have a feast but they pose substantial threat to planes.

Bird strikes cost the aviation industry millions of dollars every year. According to estimates, airlines in the US suffer loss of $68.3 million per year while worldwide the carriers have lost $1.3 billion in direct damage and associated costs in terms of aircraft down-time.

According to an Airbus study, in the incident of a bird-hit, 41 percent chances are that an aircraft's engine or its nose radome and windshield are damaged. While chances of fuselage or wings being damaged is just seven percent, the same stands at three percent for landing gears and one percent for tail. The Civil Aviation Authority Spokesperson Mujtaba Baig told The News that CAA has to divert the flights for one hour because the flock of birds emerged as it happens in unusual weather. He said that loads of birds usually engage in excessive activities during unusual weather conditions, prompting CAA to divert flights as per our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“To combat such situation, CAA’s bird shooters were present there,” he said. Around 9 to 14 bird shooters remain present at the Airport in a single shift usually. “It was done for the safety of passengers to avoid any incident,” said the spokesperson. After the birds had gone from there, the flight operation resumed completely,” he shared.

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