The Federal Government on Thursday announced Sept. 5 as the date for the full resumption of international flights into the country.

No fewer than 93 Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strikes Hazard, BASH, also known as bird strike incidents, were recorded across airports in the country during the first half of 2022, H1’22.

A bird strike is a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a takeoff. Bird Strike is common and can be a significant threat to aircraft safety.

Vanguard Aviation World gathered that the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, witnessed 54 incidents which account for 70 per cent of the total incident, while Abuja and other airports in the country accounted for the remaining 30 per cent.

However, while speaking during a workshop organised by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Search and Rescue Mission, Head, Bird/Wildlife Hazard Control, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Mr. Azike Edozie, stated that airlines are losing millions of dollars to the incident annually.

He said: “The responsibility of keeping the airspace safe from bird strike incident is the responsibility of every stakeholder in the industry, including airline operators, security agencies and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

“My record shows that we have had at least 93 bird strike incidents in all our airports between January this year and June. And out of this number, 54 of it happened in Lagos Airport alone. We all have to proffer a solution to this menace and I do hope we have a lasting solution to it because we, especially the airlines, are losing money.”

Also, the Head of Unit, Bird Control, FAAN, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Mr. Adetunji Adetutu in his presentation explained that FAAN was doing its best to curb the rising number of incidents through the procurement of modern equipment, which he said had gone a long way to reduce its impacts.

He said that 98 per cent of bird strike incidents occurred at the airports, especially when taking off and landing.

“Some of the pilots are neglecting and violating Air Traffic Controllers’ (ATC) advice because they were usually in a hurry to depart one airport for another. There is a need for attitudinal change to safety advice from ATCs.

“The final say on what happens to the aircraft lies with the pilots. Until the ATC gives clearance for pilots to depart or land, it is necessary for pilots to listen to their advice.

“Airline operators should have a change of culture on how we carry out our duties. It is the suitability of the environment that brings birds to the airport environment. We have water, shelter and food around the airports. Runway should be free of activities during takeoff and landing.”

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