October 11, 2012 4:07am
30 22 1 90
Philippine aviation authorities on Wednesday cautioned pilots taking off or landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to exercise "extreme caution" against possible bird strikes.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines deputy director general Capt. John Andrews said this advice is contained in a Notice to Airmen that will be effective until the third week of January 2013.
"This is a Notice to Airmen effective last Friday, effective until the third week in January 2013, (to) exercise extreme caution especially during takeoffs and landings due to the presence of numerous migratory birds," Andrews said in an interview on dzBB radio.
He said the danger is mainly due to a bird sanctuary west of the NAIA which the CAAP is "inclined to close," but added there is resistance to the planned closure.
Andrews said they were surprised at the number of migratory boards at the airport.
While they had tried to use falcons to drive away the migratory birds, he said the exercise was "not too successful."
"Until these birds are removed there is always going to be a danger ... The first step is the removal of the sanctuary close to the airport," he said.
"When you have a sanctuary like this the population is growing and growing," he added, noting the birds usually come out at 3 to 6 p.m. and early in the morning.
He said the CAAP cannot recommend a no-flight policy during those times. "This would be too big a step to take," he said.
"I think the solution is to remove the cause and prevent future accidents from happening," he said.
Andrews said the CAAP could request Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado to have someone take videos of the birds. — ELR, GMA News