New Delhi: Four days after domestic flights resumed operations in India following a gap of two months, a new security issue has cropped up in front of the aviation sector thanks to locus swarms invading states after states at a rapid speed. Also Read - No International Flights to, From India Till July 31: DGCA Issues Circular
Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday has issued guidelines for stakeholders like pilots and engineers on how to deal with locust swarms, saying they pose a threat to aircraft in the critical landing and takeoff phase of a flight. Also Read - International Flights: How is India Planning to Resume Services? Negotiating With These Countries | Check Details
India is battling the worst desert locust invasion in more than 21 years. The crop-destroying swarms first attacked Rajasthan and have now spread to Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Also Read - DGCA Issues Notice to AirAsia India For Suspension of Pilot Who Alleged 'Violation of Safety Norms'
“Generally, locusts are found at lower levels and therefore pose a threat to aircraft in the critical landing and takeoff phase of the flight. Almost all air intake ports of the aircraft will be prone to ingestion in large numbers if the aircraft flies through a swarm (areas like engine inlet, air-conditioning pack inlet etc.),” the regulator said in its circular.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that pitot and static sources can also get partially or fully blocked while flying through locust swarms. “Blocked pitot and static sources lead to erroneous instrument indications, especially unreliable airspeed and altimeter indications,” it said.
A pitot tube in aeroplanes is used to measure the flow speed of the wind.