Displaced birds flying into PH planes increase, "bird strikes" up from 9 to 23

The Airline Operators Council complained to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) last month about the increasing number of displaced birds flying into planes, reports the AFP. They said there were 23 "bird strikes"-incidents when birds were sucked up into jet engines-last year, up from nine in 2009. These bird strikes could cause a plane to crash, according to the report.

Alex Cariaga, head of the MIAA’s ground operations safety division, said the bird strikes appeared to increase after developers reclaimed small lagoons near the airport in 2010 to build warehouses.

Whenever pilots spot birds-mainly egrets-wandering onto the runway, they ask for help from the control tower, according to Cariaga. The 15-member ground safety team then scares off the birds using noise-making equipment.

Domesticated pigeons have also descended onto the airport "in large flocks," Cariaga said. "We have asked the local governments to discourage residents from raising birds, but truth to tell, there is no ordinance right now that bans the practice."


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