December 7, 2019 08:15 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, Dec 7: On Tuesday, when a Buddha Air's ATR-72 aircraft landed at Nepalgunj airport a wild boar came from nowhere and collided with the rear wheels of the aircraft. The boar died on the spot and the aircraft escaped a major accident.
According to Binit Shah, chief of Buddha Air, Nepalgunj, the aircraft didn't suffer any structural damage. Incident like this often happen at the airport. Last year, a Yeti Air aircraft had also collided with a boar on the runway. That time also, the aircraft did not suffer any damage.
Although there is a barbed wire fence around the airport to prevent wild animals from entering the runway, the fence is old and torn in several places hence ineffective against the animals.
Also, the locals enter the airport through the fence to collect fodder for their cattle.
Airline companies operating in Nepalgunj have long complained about the wild animal problem.
“Since the fence is torn, wild animals like boars easily enter the runway. We have seen wild boars on many occasions," Shah said, adding that the airport operator should clean the premises and make it boar-proof.
Nepalgunj Airport is the busiest airport in the western region. The airport currently operates nine flights to Kathmandu per day.
Premnath Thakur, the chief of Nepalgunj Airport, himself admitted that wild boars have been a serious threat to aircraft. He also blamed the locals for causing damage to the wire fence. “There is a barbed wire fence and it is repaired from time to time but the locals cut it to enter the airport, where they collect fodder for their animals." He said the airport is serious about resolving the problem.