Saturday, March 29, 2008

Keeping dogs out of airports

Keeping dogs out of airports

Krishnaprasad and V. Sridhar

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Posing a risk: A file picture of a stray dog on the tarmac of the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli during the first test flight on March 7.

Bangalore: The new Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli is also not free from stray dog menace.

A stray dog had a field day on the tarmac of the new airport on March 7 when the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) conducted public trial. The dog was freely moving about on the tarmac and apron areas when six aircraft, including a Kingfisher Airbus-320, landed at the airport.

Interestingly, the presence of a stray dog did bother many, except the security personnel of the BIAL, as every one was busy witnessing the maiden landing at the new airport. Thursday’s incident at the HAL Airport raised yet another question relating to safety at the new airport. Dogs are not new to HAL Airport, at least around its passenger terminal. Stray dogs often enter the passenger terminal buildings as they get eatables there.

An aircraft hitting a dog is a very rare incident, I have not seen anything like this in 25 years,” said a senior HAL airport official.

He said airports are generally clean.

“The land surrounding the HAL airport is flat with manicured grass and without a shoulder.” About 15 years ago, airports in India were surrounded by jungles and bushes. Not any more, he added.

HAL sources also said that they had repeatedly brought the problems posed by dogs in the airport to the attention of the BBMP. Meanwhile, the BIAL spokesperson said that they had taken security measures, which include restricting the entry of unauthorised persons or stray animals into the operational area of the airport, as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The spokesperson said that the height of the boundary walls of the new airport conformed to standards prescribed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. Moreover, they completely surrounded the airside of the airport


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