(English) Birds menace at TIA: Turkish Airlines diverted to Delhi to avert possible crash

Turkish airline, file photo: ekantipur.
Turkish airline, file photo: ekantipur.

KATHMANDU, Nepal– Less than a week after Malaysian Airlines flight MH–114 from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu was hit by a flocks of duck, an aircraft belonging to Turkish Airlines, which was supposed to land at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)  at around 8 am. in the Wednesday morning, was diverted to the Indian capital New Delhi after a flock of birds was sighted around the runway area, thanks to the government’s apathy to control bird’s menace in country’s only one international airport.

Officials at TIA said that Wednesday’s morning problem occurred due to the movements of birds coupled with damp climatic condition. They were informed about the incident. The diverted plane was later landed at TIA at 11:53am after the staff cleared the birds.

It is also learnt that Qatar Airways had to delay its flight for some time this week after a flocks of birds slammed into planes during its take-off.

75 incidents of birds’ strikes into planes during take-off or landing have occurred since the early 1990s, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. The first victim of the bird strike was Thai Airways Airbus A330 when the aircraft encountered vultures while taking off.

According to experts, wildlife hazards are more severe in Nepal, mainly at TIA which is besieged by rivers and forests. They believe that aircrafts are at risk during take-off and landing as 90 percent of birds fly below an altitude of 2,000 ft. They have of the opinion that accessibility of food outside the airport area and lack of cleanliness inside the airport was also a reason for birds being attracted to TIA.

Though the CAN in its report said bird strikes take place mainly during the period between September and October, incidents of birds slamming the planes have become common in other months too.

A CAAN report shows that there are as many as 39 species of birds in the area around TIA. Among them, five are large types while 10 are medium-sized and 24 small-sized.

All 19 peoples on board were killed when Lukla bound Sita Air crashed after a bird stroke the planes minutes after it took from TIA in 2012.

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