Africa spends an estimated US$11 million a year to reduce the risk of bird strikes on aviation. Bird strikes pose a major risk to aircraft taking off and landing and can result in possible injury or loss of life to passengers and crew.
At the very least, aircraft involved in bird strikes are grounded until repairs are done.
The $11 million annual cost of mitigating against the risk of bird strikes in Africa was revealed at an aviation wildlife symposium in Kisumu, Kenya. The symposium, held on 28 – 30 May 2014, was hosted by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).
The main objective of the symposium was to facilitate the exchange of aviation wildlife hazard information, to enhance capacity and to discuss upcoming trends and innovations within the industry.
Another objective was to, “create a strong network among stakeholders that will effectively reduce wildlife strikes within the East African aviation industry,” said KAA’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Dominic Ngigi.
80 delegates from eastern and southern Africa attended the symposium. The theme at this year’s symposium was, “Wildlife Hazards, Land use and Aviation Safety: Impact, challenges and opportunities for synergy.”
The East African aviation wildlife symposiums, now on their third year, attract participation from aviation stakeholders and their associations, international agencies, universities and research institutions, land use planners, technology providers and aviation safety regulators among others.
Delegates this year came from Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia.