Group Captain John Obakpolor
Chairman of the Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, which recently completed its work, Group Captain John Obakpolor, has called on the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to urgently limit the incidence of bird strikes at the airports across the nation.
Obakpolor observed that bird strike on aircraft across the world happens on daily basis and urged the management of the agency to be proactive in tackling the menace of bird strike, which, he said, has caused loss of revenue to the affected airlines.
He made this known while addressing a stakeholders’ meeting on bird strike and wild animal hazard control in Lagos on Monday at the NAMA’s head office, and said it costs an airline over $450,000 to change a blade of an aircraft engine following an injection of birds.
He noted that the birds were now migrating Southwards because of the Autumn season in Europe, urging the bird strike/wild life control staff of the agency to brace up for the challenges ahead, saying that “one deadly strike is enough to turn the aviation industry upside down and that is why I am urging all of you to be proactive in handling this very important job”.
Obakpolor further explained that the installation of aircraft birds strike avoidance radar system at Abuja airport, would not stop the problem on its own, pointing out that the air traffic controllers have roles to play in warning the pilots on the movement of the birds in and around the airport.
He equally emphasised the need for data collection as using that would assist the staff in plotting graphs to know the frequency of bird strikes and how it would affect the future plans in tackling bird strikes at the airports.
Managing Director of the Agency, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, while speaking at the meeting, promised to expose the specialised staff to trainings in line with the culture of the management, just as he stressed the need for seriousness and dedication to duty by the newly transferred staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The stakeholders are expected to come out with operational manual on how to check the incidence of bird strikes and wild life encroachments at the airports.