TIA Handicapped to handle the serious aviation Hazards
The recent accidents and growing aviation hazards around runway premises of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) have a big question mark to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on its dignity and worthiness and to fully handle all the investigations on accidents and air safety managements that is required timely and on schedule with accurate reports and conclusion that could be further referred so as to cope with similar problems in the future but CAAN has been unable to point out the specific reasons for the accidents along with being incapacitate to take the corrective actions.
An Aviation hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm or is any condition, event, or circumstance which could induce an accident to an Aircraft.
A hazard is a condition that might cause (is a prerequisite to) an accident or incident. (FAA AC 120-92A: Safety Management Systems for Aviation Service Providers).
Bird strikes have been one of the biggest aviation threats in the world to passenger’s safety since the earliest days of aviation, with the first case reported by Orville Wright in 1905.
Till date, various airline operators of Nepal including the National flag carrier Nepal Airlines have been reported to have expanded their business by adding newly manufactured or maintained aircraft in their fleet. Familiarization of new airlines operator in the country with some additional fleets have also excelled the Aviation Industry in Nepal.
Despitethe expansion of the fleets, owing to the growing trend of flight accidents and unreliable flight conditions in Nepal, it is clear that it has become quite unsafe to travel in the Nepalese sky as the number of death toll has reached at its peak considering this single year only.
While analyzing the events, it is quite mocking how an airport management could show such carelessness when it is clear that even for a single diversion of any scheduled flight, huge losses are incurred by the airlines and along with that the airport itself loses economic strength and incorporates bad reputation. While corruption and carelessness is uncontrollable in CAAN, the day to day operations will certainly be hampered due to such carelessness and it is ongoing.
The airport has seen many other animals and birds in its vicinity that created huge losses due to their presence in the takeoff and landing area. The badly timed connection between birds and TIA is rather multifaceted. Birds have always been a hazard to aircraft right since its advent in 1903 more than a century ago. Altogether 871 species have been found in Nepal out of a total of 10,000 varieties of birds in the world making Nepal a rich country for birds. The Kathmandu Valley alone has the advantage of recording more than 500 varieties. Topography, climate, greenery, wetlands and agro-lands in the valley are perfect for birds luring tourists into visiting Kathmandu.A CAAN report shows that there are 39 species of birds in the area around TIA itself. Among them, five are large types, 10 are medium-sized and 24 small-sized.The migratory birds have especially been troublesome while flying as there is a high probability of bird strikes. Recently a year back, a mammal (a bat) had been seen dead in the runway vicinity which could have arrived in the night time. The technicians who work at night time to maintain the runway and taxiway were unable The event invited the closure of the airport and diversion of scheduled to detect the dead mammal which clearly depicts their carelessness and how undutiful they are. flights along with financial losses and obstruction of the routine flight of the travelers.
In fact, the presence of monkeys and dogs running haphazardly in the runway area, apron and inside the terminal building has been inviting security threats and hindering the operations of the flights. On addition, the TIA officials and security personnel sometimes are unable to chase the monkey away and the airport has to be closed for the several hours’ resulting the huge loss of the revenue.
The huge forest belonging to Pashupati Devlopment Trust towards the western part near the domestic apron, farm and dumping site beside the runway (RWY-02) of TIA has played the vital role in acting as a bridge for the presence of monkey, dogs and birds inside the aerodrome and hub for them for the shelter.
Monkey and dogs sometimes not only run towards the runway and apron but also damage the aircraft parts along with the Foreign Object Damage (FOD) threat. TIA which induces huge parking fare with the airline providing service domestically or internationally is compromising the security essentials to aircraft parked at the apron.
As the officials from CAAN are attending the wildlife strike hazard reduction symposium organized by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Airport Council International (ACI) at Montreal, Canada every year spending huge amount but why this kind of serious issues are repeatedly spotted on the country’s sole international airport.
Some of the Nepalese pilots released the statement, “We share our airspace with feathered birds and convective weather along with the Unreliable Nepalese Terrain which can pose some serious threats to our flight along with the life of passengers and crews members but the concern authority acts as either they are sleeping or are powerless to solve this serious issue”. Every Pilotwants to fly as safely as possible providing their passengers with the trip of their life. But every now and then due to circumstances out of control, location and weather; things might get out of hand blaming the pilot errors.
Along with the above reason behind this lackluster conduction of CAAN, it becomes necessary to take a leap towards some critical actions that could improve the present condition in the airport. And first could be management of runway which is the biggest problem. The ground maintenance and proper care would be the second one along with hiring some ornithologists for problems regarding wildlife running haphazardly into the airports vicinity. Despite being a responsible body, CAAN itself doesn’t seem competent to handle all these problems with their solution. It is matter of utmost importance for CAAN to investigate and analyze the risks and concerns for the accidents occurring and also to find out the reasons along with implementing safety into flights and airports.
This news was published on hard copy of AviationNepal Newspaper on 15 Aug 2017.