Palma airport is hoping to get operations back to normal as soon as possible. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Palma airport is reporting delays this afternoon after a bird strike with a plane and activated the security protocols. Aircraft due to take are waiting for the incident at Son Sant Joan to be resolved so that operations can return to normal. The bird strike caused a setback in the departure timetable at Palma airport at around 13:30 and it is hoped that traffic can be re-established shortly.

Three people and eleven birds of prey helps work every day to avoid incidents of this type at Palma airport. To avoid such risky situations, from sunrise to sunset two falconers and an assistant patrol the area around the runways of Son Sant Joan in the company of birds of prey. They look for dead animals, so that other birds do not approach in search of them. Few of them fly over the runways, demonstrating the effectiveness of their work.

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Across the world, more than 300 people were killed because of wildlife strikes and nearly 300 planes were destroyed between 1988 and 2021. The majority of strikes — 92 percent — happen at 3,500 feet or lower, according to the FAA. In some cases, bird strikes have even caused planes to crash. The most common type of bird strike is a bird ingestion, which occurs when a bird is sucked into an engine. This can damage the engine’s compressor blades, which can cause the engine to fail.

The worst case scenario for a collision between a large plane and a group of birds would be when one or more birds are sucked into the engine. The fan blades within can become damaged by the bird itself, and this could potentially lead to an engine malfunction, possibly resulting in a crucial loss of thrust.

Every year approximately 21,000 bird strikes are reported meaning 50-60 occur every day. This may sound like a lot, but on the whole, bird strikes don't pose a significant risk. In 31 years, wildlife strikes have only accounted for 292 fatalities worldwide.