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Pigeon Flying – A Serious Hazard to Flight Operations

Pigeon Flying - A Serious Hazard to Flight Operations

Article by: Izmi Herlani

Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority have launched a comprehensive public awareness campaign to address the growing threat of pigeon and kite flying near military and civilian airfields across the country. These activities pose a significant risk to aircraft safety and can result in catastrophic damage to multi-million dollar machines, jeopardizing national assets and operational capabilities.

Bird strikes, including those involving pigeons, are a major concern for the aviation industry worldwide. In Pakistan, these incidents have caused millions of dollars in damages to aircraft and engines. Airports are responsible for implementing bird control measures, such as deploying bird shooters near runways and taking other preventive actions, however, the public’s participation is crucial to effectively mitigate this hazard.

The awareness campaign emphasizes the importance of responsible waste management and prohibition of pigeon flights close to airfields. Carcasses and offal left in open areas attract large birds like eagles and vultures, which can collide with high-speed aircraft during takeoff and landing. These bird strikes can have devastating consequences, potentially leading to the loss of aircraft, pilots and precious lives. To address this issue, the authorities have taken several measures. Signboards and informative pamphlets have been placed around airports/ airfields urging the public to properly dispose off animal remains. Shopkeepers, food outlets and hotel owners have also been educated about the importance of proper waste management to prevent attracting birds. The campaign also targets the hazards posed by kite and pigeon flying in the vicinity of PAF airfields. These activities can disrupt flight operations and pose a direct threat to aircraft safety. The authorities have directed the local police and district administration to enforce Section 144, which prohibits kite flying and selling, and to restrict pigeon flying near military and civilian airfields.

The awareness campaign is being implemented across the country, with dedicated efforts at major airports like Islamabad International Airport, Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore, Jinnah International Airport in Karachi and Gilgit International Airport. At these airports, the management is collaborating with local authorities, community leaders and religious organizations to raise awareness and ensure effective waste management.

At Islamabad International Airport, a meeting of the Environmental Control Committee was also held to discuss the bird strike awareness campaign. Banners were displayed, and the authorities are working with the district administration and police to conduct public outreach. Similar initiatives have been undertaken at other airports, with informative pamphlets distributed, disposal bags provided and awareness sessions conducted with residents.

Pakistan Air Force has also been actively involved in the campaign, with officers giving presentations on the threats posed by bird hazards and garbage dumping to national assets. The authorities have emphasized the need for joint efforts between the military, civil aviation and local communities to address this critical issue.

The pigeon flying awareness campaign launched by the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority is a crucial initiative to safeguard the country’s aviation assets and ensure the safety of flight operations. So let us join hands together to support our Shaheens in educating the public, promoting responsible waste management and restricting hazardous activities near airfields, in order to mitigate the risk of bird strikes and protect the nation’s valuable air power capabilities.






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