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Locust Spotting: Delhi airport on high alert

Locust Spotting: Delhi airport on high alert

National capital's IGI Airport has been kept on high alert following swarm of locusts were spotted near to the key installation.

The spotting took place near to national highway 8's stretch which connects the national capital to Gurugram around 11.00 a.m., sources said.

Accordingly, the airport was kept at high alert as operations could have been affected due to the incoming locust swarm.

However, due to a change in wind direction the swarm has moved in a completely different direction altogether.

"As of now operations are completely normal, but we are maintaining a lookout and coordinating with different agencies," sources said.

Last month, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued safety guidelines regarding flight operations in view of the threat posed by locust attack in certain parts of the country.

In a statement, the aviation regulator had 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 had 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.

Notably, locust, denotes a massive group of certain grasshopper species which in a swarming stage devastate crops. This stage can lead a swarm of locust having over a billion individual inspects.

Recently, swarms of locusts attacked Iran, Pakistan and many states..