Launch of bird collision avoidance system will save lives, money

Abdulmohsen Ibrahim Al-Hobayb
Updated 03 January 2018
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Launch of bird collision avoidance system will save lives, money

RIYADH: A highly innovative system that can save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in losses inflicted by collisions between aircraft and birds was launched here on Tuesday.
The Bird Collision Avoidance System (BCAS), developed by the Bulgarian company Volacom, has been recognized by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the state-owned aviation regulatory authority.
“The BCAS provides fully automatic detection, recognition and tracking of detected objects by panoramic thermal imaging cameras, working around the clock in all weather conditions,” said Abdulmohsen Ibrahim Al-Hobayb, general manager of Saudi Information Co. (SIT), a Saudi company which has teamed up with Volacom to introduce the BCAS in the local aviation market.
Al-Hobayb added: “Our devotion to inventing and perfecting the BCAS has resulted in a unique high-tech solution to a real-life problem … we strongly believe that our efforts in Saudi Arabia with business partners SIT will bring Saudi airports’ safety to the next level.”
Nowadays, owing to the constantly increasing air traffic, collisions between birds and aircraft are among the most serious hazards that most airports around the world have to face, he said.
He pointed out that most bird strikes usually occur when an aircraft is cruising at low altitude. Therefore, the airport environment, mainly the runways, surrounding areas and ascending and descending paths, are considered the most dangerous zones for bird strikes.
“This also involves the most critical phases of a flight, namely take-off and landing,” explained Ludmil Manassiev, former director of the Airports, Aviation Security and Air Navigation Services Directorate, CAA Bulgaria.
He said that the direct costs of a bird strike could be significant, starting at $16,000 for a new engine blade and going up to $5 million for a new engine. “Including the other associated repair costs, the damage could swell up to $6 million in addition to the indirect costs owing to flight delays, out-of-service costs, passenger compensations, aircraft replacement, etc,” said Manassiev.
Among the unique features of the system, which can be tailor-made to meet the specific needs of each client, is the proprietary acoustic deterrence signal called ASR — Acoustic Startle Reflex.
Volacom together with SIT, has been carefully evaluating the specific needs of Saudi airports to design the most appropriate solutions. “This is a good example of how collaboration between different stakeholders can bring about a safer environment for all of us,” Manassiev said.


Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

Updated 30 min 17 sec ago
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Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

  • Rihanna's home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism
  • The singer has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart

NEW YORK: Rihanna is now Ambassador Rihanna, after her home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said that Rihanna — real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty — has been conferred the title of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
While the singer will not be formally accredited to another country, Mottley said that Rihanna — whose more colorful songs include “Bitch Better Have My Money” — would be in charge of bringing investment as well as encouraging education and tourism.
“I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility,” Rihanna said in a statement dated Thursday.
Rihanna, 30, grew up in a troubled home in Barbados and was propelled to fame after visiting US producer Evan Rogers recognized her talents.
The singer, who since achieving stardom has lived primarily in Los Angeles and New York, has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart, more than any artist except The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey.