Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is undertaking numerous measures to safeguard biodiversity
File Photo

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has undertaken numerous measures towards biodiversity management and wildlife conservation at the airport and its vicinity. The CSMIA ensured that the principles of biodiversity and wildlife management were integrated right from the design stage of the facilities and embedded into its daily operations.

According to a statement released by the CSMIA, the airport continuously monitors and maps areas of wildlife activity in order to undertake preventive measures to minimize any impact on wildlife. Being an airport, birds are the primary source of concern, and the airports worldwide, including CSMIA, have adopted measures to prevent incidents such as bird and animal strikes. Typical measures taken to reduce the presence of birds near the runways includes maintaining grass, netting of drains to curtail food and water source to birds, controlling waste disposal, and spraying pesticides.

To ensure that every being coexists, the CSMIA has adopted the ‘Grass Policy’ initiative to curtail bird and other wildlife activities near its runways. As per the policy, CSMIA maintains the grass height up to 30 cm (termed as long grass) during the monsoon season and up to 20 cm (short grass) during the rest of the months. Additionally, CSMIA has implemented methods such as deployment of bird scarers, six shot scaring guns and patrolling of wildlife vehicles with a mounted scarecrow device to prevent the wildlife habitat implementation at the airport and bird counting twice in a day by wildlife officials.

Having been surrounded by dwellings as a land-constrained airport, the airport has to extend efforts to educate the surrounding public on supporting its measures to prevent bird strikes. As stated in the release, "CSMIA consistently carries out the pruning of trees from adjacent areas and approach and takeoff path of runways in coordination with MCGM tree authority to reduce the presence of birds in the vicinity of the airport."

Moreover, a new technological device, 'Super Pro Amp' was also installed near the runways, operational 24/7 to disperse birds, along with placing anti-perching spikes and Gel cups on all airside structures, such as signages, aerobridges, lights, amongst others and employs the use of laser torches at nighttime for bird control. Despite operating within a low biodiversity area and a non-eco sensitive zone, CSMIA has maintained the preservation of the habitats and protection of the ecosystem as one of its top priorities.

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