Monkeys on runway, SpiceJet plane forced to abort take-off at Ahmedabad

New Delhi, November 20
Wildlife on runways continues to threaten air travellers in India. In the most recent incident, a SpiceJet Boeing 737 had to abort take-off in Ahmedabad on Sunday after some monkeys were spotted on the runway. Luckily, the plane stopped in time and no one was reportedly injured.
“Our Boeing 737-800 operating as SG 501 from Ahmedabad to Chennai was rolling for take off when the air traffic control (ATC) contacted the pilots and told them that there were monkeys on the runway.
The plane had just begun take-off roll and was able to stop safely,” a SpiceJet spokesman said.
In the past too, low cost carrier SpiceJet has suffered due to presence of wildlife on runways and it, along with other airlines, has taken up the issue repeatedly with both the Airports Authority of India and Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
About a year back, a SpiceJet turboprop had skidded off the runway soon after landing at Jabalpur when the pilot had to steer the plane away from a herd of wild boars on the airstrip. About two years ago, a SpiceJet Boeing 737 hit a buffalo at Surat just as it was about to get air borne. The buffalo, which had entered the runway through a gap in the airport’s boundary wall, died and the plane suffered serious damages.
The DGCA had stopped operations at Jabalpur after the SpiceJet incident.
Earlier this year, the DGCA had audited 20 airports that were identified as being most vulnerable to animal incursions. It had asked AAI and states where these airports are located to take remedial steps for augmenting safety.
The common problem at these 20 airports – that include those in Varanasi, Kolkata, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Patna, Ranchi and Bhubaneswar – was of breaches in boundary walls from where animals enter, apart from water bodies and meat shops near the airport which attract both birds and animals. Many airports had grass growing within the boundary walls, which tempted villagers to intrude to graze their cattle.

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