FG acquires anti-wildlife equipment for airports

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)

Worried by the huge losses incurred by airlines as a result of bird strikes, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said it would acquire Phonic Bird Wailers.

The equipment would help in combating wildlife and bird strikes in the country.

Director, Airport Operation, FAAN, Capt. Muktar Muye, disclosed this at the one day symposium on Reduction on Wildlife Strike Hazard at Nigerian Airports, saying the equipment was already being shipped into the country.

Our correspondent reports that bird strike in recent times has caused huge losses running into billions of naira to operating airlines.

Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) recently, disclosed that Nigerian airlines lost about N6bn to bird strike menace annually.

Arik Air, one of the foremost airlines in Nigeria said it lost about $3.6m to bird strike menace between 2013 and 2019.

But Muye explained that in the coming years, it is projected that there would be more airlines, while increase would also be recorded in the number of wildlife species.

He however disclosed that efforts are ongoing by FAAN to address the challenge.

The Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu said all stakeholders must work together to achieve the reduction in bird strikes which pose danger to safety.

He emphasized that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reports indicated that wildlife occurances were responsible for 3.6 per cent airline incidents globally.

”It’s a nod to this and recognition of the roles that stakeholders across the spectrum need to play in order to achieve this objective that the Airports Council International (ACI) in conjunction with the ICAO conveyed the symposium on Reduction of Wildlife Strike Hazard, which was held in 2017,” he said.

Safety Manager, Arik Air, Capt. Jide Bakare, lamented that the airline had lost about $3.6m in six years to bird strikes at several airports in the country.

He said in 2019 alone, the airline lost $430,000 to damage of its aircraft due to bird strike, adding that it also lost $466,000 to two bird strike incidents at Enugu Airport.

Mr. Adebayo Opeloyemi of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), disclosed that Nigeria was home to about 1000 birds and 370 species, while there are about 600,000 birds worldwide.

He advocated the set-up of a committee to tackle wildlife.

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