For aviation security, fruit vendors evicted from School Line area

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
30 Mar 2017

As bird-hit poses a serious threat to aviation security during take-off, in flight or landing, the administration and defence authorities have been repeated issuing cautions to fruit and juice vendors operating along the roadside from School Line to Minnie Bay Junction close to the runway of the Veer Savarkar International Airport here. But such cautions have been falling on deaf ears forcing the defence authorities to take strict action against the vendors on Thursday. 
According to reports, Indian Air Force authorities here today took up the matter on a strong note with the civil administration to evict the vendors from the spot along the runway region for aviation security. Responding promptly, the Municipal Council rushed a team to the spot. Vendors started creating chaos in the region following which the armed police team arrived at the spot. The vendors were sensitized on the need to avoid activities which attract birds near the runway area following which the police and Municipal team moved them to another location along with their commodities.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation safety regulator, in an official report, reported that bird strikes in the country, which often hold up fliers and even cause close shaves, have doubled over the past four years even as the numbers of fruit and fresh juice vendors operating at the location have doubled in the recent months. “It is a known fact that fruits, vegetables, flesh etc attract birds; but the vendors business at an area too close to the runway poses a serious threat to air passengers. One can easily notice birds of different types hovering near the fruit and juice vendors at School Line during rush hours. A bird-hit can have a devastating effect on aircraft movement and the authorities should implement measures in place to combat the menace,” said some residents of School Line.