Launch of bird collision avoidance system will save lives, money

Abdulmohsen Ibrahim Al-Hobayb
Updated 03 January 2018

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.


Decreasing purchasing power pushes Turks toward ‘Syrian gold’

An employee displays gold bars at a Korea Gold Exchange shop in Seoul on July 30, 2020. Virus uncertainty combined with China-US tensions has sent gold soaring nearly 30 percent this year. (AFP)
Updated 1 min 46 sec ago

Decreasing purchasing power pushes Turks toward ‘Syrian gold’

  • Economist Umit Kumcuoglu said the increasing use of lower-alloy “Syrian gold” mainly derives from the need to preserve status and tradition, and would not produce a significant impact on the local economy because it was not a counterfeit product

The escalating price of gold in Turkey, in tandem with the global market and the decrease of purchasing power, has led to an influx of lower quality products from Syria.
One, an imitation known as “Syrian gold” due to its popularity with Syrian jewelers, has gone mainstream, having emanated from the jewelry markets of the southern city of Hatay on the Syrian border.
One gram of gold currently costs 437 lira ($62) in Turkey, up by almost two-fifths since January. Having reached near unaffordable levels, the prices have pushed people to turn toward metals with lower values for things such as wedding ceremonies, where pinning 22-karat gold coins and sets of gold jewelry on couples is a Turkish tradition.
Economist Umit Kumcuoglu said the increasing use of lower-alloy “Syrian gold” mainly derives from the need to preserve status and tradition, and would not produce a significant impact on the local economy because it was not a counterfeit product.
“In southeastern tribes, buying gold for wedding ceremonies is an established tradition, and people are inclined to continue this practice amid decreasing purchasing power due to the coronavirus disease outbreak and devaluation conditions in the country,” he told Arab News.
However, according to Kumcuoglu, the ongoing economic challenges, and especially skyrocketing inflation, could push some people to produce counterfeit gold in the future.
Turkey’s central bank became the world’s biggest official-sector buyer of gold in June, according to International Monetary Fund figures. In a bid to support the Turkish lira amid currency concerns, the bank increased its reserves by 890,000 ounces to a record level of 21.28 million in May.
As per the figures published by the World Gold Council, total central bank gold purchases were 139 tons in the first four months of 2020, with the lion’s share of these, 111 tons, coming from Turkey.