At the beginning of each dry seasons, swarms of migrating birds wreak havoc at Surabaya’s Juanda Airport, with birds occupying runways prompting concerns it could cause a fatal accident.
Birds naturally look for adequate shelter during the changing of seasons, which causes regular safety issues for airplanes.
Officials at the Juanda Airport have deployed bird-chasing units to rid runways of roaming birds which can endanger the safety of flights at the airport. Birds can obstruct the vision of pilots as well as damage engines posing a massive safety threat.
With the migration season, hundreds of birds pass over the airport daily, with the bird-chasing operation running every two hours.
Yuwono, the Surabaya Regional General Manager of airport operator Angkasa Pura I, cited data provided by the Bogor Agricultural Institute and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences showing 42 different species of birds are currently striking the Juanda Airport.
Fears of a strike are well-founded at Juanda Airport, with migrating birds colliding with a Lion Air LNI823 plane preparing to land at the airport in June. The bird hit the nose of the plane, causing a large dent.
“The occurrence happened at 06.58 Western Indonesian Time. The bird struck a Lion Air plane heading to Surabaya from Lombok which was about to land on Runway 10,” Ombudsman Alvin Lie said, as reported by Detik.
Once safely landed, Lion Air ground staff changed the damaged parts and the airport operator immediately deployed the chasing units. Airlines are reminded to stay alert and stay in constant contact with Air Traffic Control.
Image credits: AirMargz