Reports released by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) point to bird strikes as a growing danger at the country’s airports. In the first six months of 2022, 30 aircraft belonging to flag carrier PIA were struck by birds at various airports dotted throughout the South Asian country. In total, 48 planes of national and foreign airlines were affected by bird strikes until May this year.
Let’s investigate further.
30 PIA planes affected
According to the report put out by PIA, 30 of its aircraft suffered bird strike incidents in the first half of 2022. Of these, three incidents occurred on aircraft from the ATR42 family, 23 on aircraft from the Airbus A320 family, and the remaining four occurred on Boeing’s 777 family aircraft.
|Aircraft Type||Number of incidents from Jan 2022 – June 2022|
From the total figure, eight incidents took place when PIA aircraft were on approach, while just one each occurred during the climb and descent phase. With 11 incidents, final landing activities saw the most incidents, while incidents of bird strikes during take-off activities were limited to six. Furthermore, phases of flight during the remaining three incidents could not be determined.
The airline intends to begin flights to Sydney, Australia. Photo: Getty Images
Thankfully though, it’s not all bad news. Out of the total 30 incidents, only three resulted in damage to the aircraft. The remaining 27 resulted in minimal or virtually no harm to aircraft.
The report by PIA also went into detail regarding the locations of these incidents. Approximately a dozen of the total incidents occurred at Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) in Lahore, followed by Islamabad International Airport (ISB) with six incidents. Next up, five incidents occurred at Jinnah International Airport (KHI) in Karachi and three similar bird strikes at Quetta International Airport (UET). Lastly, PIA aircraft suffered two bird strikes at Bacha Khan International Airport (PEW) in Peshawar and one each at Sialkot International Airport (SKT) and Damam Airport.
48 total incidents till May 2022
A report released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan gave airport-wise statistics of bird strikes from 2018 to 2022. On par with PIAs, Lahore’s accident Allama Iqbal International Airport came in at the top, with a total of 198 bird strike incidents reported. Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport came in a very close second with 192 incidents, followed by Islamabad International Airport at 100 incidents. SKT airport saw 53 incidents in the last five years, while PEW was next down the road with 40. Multan, Faisalabad, and Quetta saw 26, 22, and 17 incidents, respectively.
There were 48 total bird strike incidents at Pakistan’s airports from January to May 2022. Photo: Getty Images
Unfortunately, the monsoon season in South Asia will further increase the risk of bird strikes on aircraft. A few weeks ago, a SpiceJet plane suffered an engine fire after swallowing a bird while taking off from Patna.
What do you think of bird strikes affecting airliners? Do you think they still pose a significant threat to aviation safety? Please, let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Source: ARY News