The Control Yuan yesterday urged the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of National Defense to adopt more pragmatic approaches to reinforce the nation’s aviation safety, amid an increasing number of bird-aircraft strikes in civilian and military airports.
A recently concluded report on bird hazards to aircraft — launched by Control Yuan members Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏), Chen Yung-hsiang (陳永祥), and Chao Chang-ping (趙昌平) — found that birdstrikes had risen by about four-fold over the past four years, especially after the Civil Aeronautics Administration made it mandatory last year that airport control towers report all cases.
Singling out Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the report said that while the civilian airport recorded 25 and 28 bird strike incidents in 2009 and 2010 respectively, the number climbed to 64 last year and to an alarming 103 as of August this year.
“The sharp increase in bird strikes indicates that the issue is worsening day by day,” the report said.
The report attributed the unsettling increase to the airport’s spacious area, on which scores of soil piles have accumulated, coupled with a giant pond in the nearby naval aircraft-based airport which has practically become a bird habitat.
Although the international airport sought to reduce bird strike hazards by driving off birds at and near the airport last year, the approach was later called off after some anonymous complaints accusing the airport of transgressing the Wildlife Protection Act (野生動物保育法), the report said.
It said that Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Kaohsiung International Airport also face similar problems.