EDITORIAL: Get bird-free flight paths

A plane at the JKIA
A plane at the JKIA in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Airports Authority should heed the warning sounded by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and install bird scaring kit at major airports.

The spectre of birds being sucked into the engines of aircraft poses a major safety threat for airlines and with Kenya’s growing stature as a regional aviation hub, it is incumbent on the KAA to take all the necessary steps needed to make Kenyan airspace safe.

In the past, there have been cases of aircraft making forced landing due to bird strikes and this has come at a dear cost to airlines, not to mention the inconvenience caused to travellers and the reputational risk this poses for Kenyan airports.

Since the methods of scaring birds from flight paths are already known and readily available, there is no reason they should not be deployed where and when needed. It need not take prompting from the industry regulator to get measures like this put in place when the KAA clearly knows what the consequences of failing to act are.

Although it is not possible to prevent bird strikes altogether, it behoves the KAA to do what other airports have done to keep birds as far as possible from flight paths. Of course, from an environmental point of view, care must also be taken to ensure that birds are not killed on a large scale since there are tried and tested techniques.