Bird Strikes Plagued Local Airlines

Alarms Raised on BASH Airports
Manila, Iloilo, and Puerto Princesa heads the pack;
Cebu, Clark, Kalibo and Ozamiz not far behind

By Rudy Santos
November 26, 2009

MANILA, Philippines - Officials of Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) briefed representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and Manila International Airport Authority yesterday regarding the increasing number of bird strike incidents in the country, and the air safety concern bird strikes pose.

A bird strike is defined as a collision between an aircraft and a bird. This causes flight delays or cancellations since the aircraft has to undergo strict safety checks before being allowed back into service.

CEB and PAL officials urged CAAP and concerned government agencies to double their efforts to prevent bird hazards in the country’s airports.

CEB safety director Capt. Felipe Timola Jr. voiced his concern over the increasing number of bird strike incidents, from 14 in 2008 to 54 as of last October. In October alone, there were 19 such incidents.

“Out of the 54 incidents this year, there were seven that resulted in major damage to CEB aircraft. We are very committed to providing safe air travel to our guests, and would like to highlight the importance of preventing more bird strike incidents in the future,” Timola said.

He said airports in Manila, Iloilo and Puerto Princesa as the locations with the most number of bird strike incidents so far this year.

Aside from the three airports mentioned, other airports with reported bird strike incidents affecting the CEB domestic network include Bacolod, Cebu, Clark, Kalibo and Ozamiz.

Also present in the briefing were representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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