Termites alongside tarmac set off chicken hazard at Ahmedabad airport | Ahmedabad Information


AHMEDABAD: Why is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport still a bird magnet making flights prone to increasing bird strike accidents? A national study cited at least half a dozen reasons for bird threats at the local airport, including massive termite infestations along the runway, attracting insectivorous birds to the site, failure to dispose of cut grass, and approximately 1,000 bird feeding places within a 10 km radius of the airport.

The final report “Bird Hazard in Select Indian Airfields: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport”, conducted by the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, marked termite mounds within the airport area as the main reasons for bird dominance with a red flag. The study was funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and submitted in August 2020.
The report recorded extensive termite activity near the runway and in many places within the airside, and suggested that this could be a factor in the regular activity of insectivorous birds near the runway.
“There are a large number of termite mound areas within the airport. The high level of termite activity at the airport resulted in the dominance of insectivorous birds in the area,” the report said.
“The proximity to the Sabarmati River increases bird activity”
There are a large number of termite mound areas within the airport. The high termite activity at the airport led to the dominance of insectivorous birds in the area, ”the report said. The report highlighted that the practice of not disposing of the trimmed grass but leaving it in the field itself can encourage the activities of termites and insects that thrive on dead organic matter, providing habitats for certain bird species. “The removal of cut grass from the airport is necessary. It will help reduce termite proliferation and its associated consequences, ”the report said.
The study conducted by P Pramod and PV Karunakaran with Anees Khan and Binisha B found that birds breed in the airport authority buildings. “An intense accumulation of blue pigeons was observed in the airport area. The building, which is owned and managed by the airport authorities, is used by these birds as perches and resting places, ”the report said. The report said the airport’s proximity to the Sabarmati River could also be an important factor in the increase in bird activity. “The proximity of the runway and funnel area to the Sabarmati River provides habitat for large numbers of waterfowl,” the report said.
The researchers also found nearly 1,000 bird feeding spots around the airport and near the river. “The locals feed birds because of their religious beliefs. We estimate that there are 1,000 such locations within 10 km of the airport, ”said the researchers. The study found the presence of 76 species of birds from 1,6235 encounters within a 10 km radius of the airport.