Birds slamming into planes in flight near NAIA pose threat to air safety
(SPOT.ph) Recent incidences of "bird strikes" or birds colliding with planes has become a cause for concern for aviation authorities, reports GMA News. Aviation authorities are considering paving over a natural bird lagoon near Ninoy Aquino International Airport but environmentalists said that such plan interrupts the flight path of the birds.
Bird strikes are dangerous since birds could ram into planes or get sucked into engines, causing flight disruptions and potential crashes. Officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said an increase in bird strikes of planes at the airport have been recorded in the past few months. In May, reports GMA News, a bird ran into one of Philippine Airlines' aircraft, damaging the plane.
According to the officer in charge of MIAA's Airport Ground Operations and Safety Division, Joseph Agustin, they are investigating the possibility of creating another bird sanctuary away from the runways. However, since former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that the bird lagoon near NAIA is a bird sanctuary and an eco-tourism area, it is protected by law. It is also a stopover point for around 80 species of migratory birds. "An ordinance cannot supersede a Presidential Proclamation, (the latter) will always prevail," said Reynaldo Villafuerte, director of the National Capital Region chapter of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Mike Lu, president of the Wild Birds Club Philippines, said that the proposed reclamation counters the natural flight path of birds. He also said the public will suffer the consequences should the plan push through. "All the resident birds here will either die or try to find some place else. It means they would have to fly further away, or they will find the next open area, which is the airport."
Apart from airport safety though, the bird sanctuary is also threatened by a P14-billion reclamation project for a new business center in the area.
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GMA News’ report on the recent incidents of bird strikes near NAIA