The Director of the PIA, Monreudee Kaidpan said that in order to ensure the safety of all aircraft and passengers a special unit has been set up to monitor birds in the area.
“Recently we have had a variety of birds moving to live in the area because of deforestation and encroachment in [Phuket’s] forests.
“Due to the loss of habitat, many birds seek food and shelter in towns and now they are encroaching on the airport area and air space which raises safety concerns when the planes take off.
“Recently, we have seen increasing reports in the news of airplanes being forced into emergency landings after birds flew into their engines, which alarms passengers.
“To ensure the safety of aircraft and passengers, the PIA has assigned a special unit to take care of birds and animals that may cause harm in the airport area.
“Officers will monitor the behaviour of birds in their area of their responsibility on the ground and in the air. Each species of birds will be closely monitored every day – at least five times a day at random.”
The International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO) which is currently putting heavy pressure on Thailand to improve safety and security in aviation, has a set of guidelines that not only recommends how birds and other wildlife such as bats should be monitored and chased away from airport airspace (”including by lethal means where appropriate”), but also recommends that steps be taken to make the area less attractive to wildlife by, for instance, keeping grassy areas cut short.
“PIA will do what it takes to increase safety for passengers and airplanes,” said director Monreudee. “We have excellent service and we follow international air safety standards.”