Khartoum International Airport (KRT), long struggling with the challenges of bird control, has broken ranks with past procurement practice. According to information received, the airport was given the first ever contract awarded to a foreign company.
The Bird Control Group from The Netherlands was chosen to provide a bird control technology not available in the Sudan, using laser beams to chase the birds away before aircraft land or take off.
This also makes Khartoum the first airport in Africa to use this state-of-the-art method, pioneering the spread of new technology into the continent, no doubt when the first assessments are becoming available and are shared at upcoming airport conferences discussing bird hazards.
Airlines operating in and out of KRT have in the past often voiced their concerns and demanded action to avoid costly bird strikes damaging engines and subsequently causing long delays for passengers until replacement aircraft arrive or else the engines are changed. Especially at dusk and dawn, the risks are reportedly at the highest level, and the new equipment – the company has provided extensive training for the airport staff tasked with controling birds – has already made a significant difference, according to the source of the information.
The Sudan is the Bird Control Group’s 70th country of operation and the first to use the new technology.