New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday issued safety guidelines regarding flight operations in view of the threat posed by locust attack in certain parts of the country.
In a statement here, the aviation regulator said that locusts are generally found at lower levels of atmosphere and therefore pose a threat to aircraft in the critical landing and take-off phases of the flight.
“All pilots are required to share information on location of locust swarms if they sight any during a flight. As far as possible, it is strongly advised that flights should be avoided through any known locust swarm,” it said.
“The only favourable aspect of the problem is that locusts do not fly at night, thus providing an opportunity to avoid them,” the DGCA said.
It noted that a large swarm of locusts on the aircraft windshield is known to impact the pilots’ vision which can cause problems during landing, taxiing and take-off.
“Use of wipers can cause the smear to spread even more. Pilot should consider this aspect prior to opting to use wipers to remove locust from the windshields,” it added.
The regulator also directed pilots to make entry in the pilots defect log in case they fly through a locust swarm, giving details of any malfunction experienced and ask the engineering crew to conduct checks prior to the next flights.
Further, the guidelines also said that ground handling agencies should be aware that locust swarms pose risk to parked aircraft as well, and hence possible air inlets and probes should be covered.