Bird Activity Disrupts Pune Airport Operations, Causing Delays and Diversions

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Viman Nagar, 8th June 2024: Flight operations at Pune airport were suspended for approximately 50 minutes on Friday, from 11:00 AM to 11:50 AM, due to unusual bird activity around the runway area. This suspension led to the diversion of three flights and delays for several others.


Santosh Dhoke, Pune Airport Director, stated, “Large flocks of birds were seen near the runway area. All flight operations were stopped. Some flights about to land were diverted to other airports. Operations have become normal now.”


During the suspension, a flight from Delhi was diverted to Mumbai, another from Chennai was redirected to Hyderabad, and a Mumbai-Pune flight returned to Mumbai. “I was flying from Mumbai to Pune. The flight returned to Mumbai after hovering over Pune for an hour. According to the pilot, landing was difficult at Pune airport because of heavy bird activity,” said Rohit Motwani, a passenger.


The Delhi-Pune flight landed in Mumbai at 11:30 AM and took off for Pune at 1:30 PM. One flyer, who wished to remain anonymous, mentioned, “The airline said there was a weather issue at Pune airport. When I called my relative after landing in Mumbai, I was told that the weather in Pune was clear. There was no rain. I didn’t get proper information from the airline.”


Bird strikes pose significant risks to aviation as they can damage aircraft engines. On May 21, 40 flamingos were killed when they flew into the path of an Emirates aircraft just before landing at Mumbai airport. Fortunately, the flight landed safely.


The bird activity at Pune airport on Friday morning caused delays for several flights. An IndiGo flight from Pune to Delhi, scheduled for 11:10 AM, was delayed by almost two hours. “For quite some time, we didn’t know the reason behind the delay. We were later informed about it. The area around the airport has many buildings and establishments like shops and small eateries, leading to garbage dumping. The airport authorities should ensure that the area around the airport is free of garbage,” said Sudhanshu Singh, a passenger.


A SpiceJet flight to Goa, initially scheduled for 12:30 PM, took off at 4:10 PM. Another SpiceJet flight from Pune to Delhi, slated to depart at 4:00 PM, eventually left at 7:20 PM. An IndiGo flight to Chennai, scheduled for 2:50 PM, departed at 5:45 PM.