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New Delhi: The government on Thursday said airlines take several measures to tackle the menace of rodents entering stationary aircraft. The wiring in an aircraft is generally bundled, so it is difficult for rats to chew through them, minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Airport operators also take steps to eliminate or prevent rats or any other wildlife from entering the aerodrome, Sharma said.

The minister’s statements came in the wake of a recent incident when a rodent was seen by a crew member on Air India’s flight to Delhi from Melbourne.

The presence of the rodent on board the Dreamliner B787-800 aircraft forced the air traffic control to divert the aircraft to Singapore.

“Since the wiring in the aircraft is generally bundled it is difficult for rats to gnaw them. However, the effect on the flight will depend on the aircraft system damaged by the rat," Sharma said in response to a question by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s member of Parliament G. Hari.

Hari had asked whether rats in an aircraft could lead to a catastrophe if they start chewing electric wires.

“Pest and rodent treatment was accomplished at Singapore airport using glue plates. Aircraft was declared serviceable and operated on 17 April (the next day after the incident) back to Delhi," the minister said.

He said periodic fumigation for pest control are done by airlines to tackle the menace. In addition, aerodrome operators take actions to eliminate or to prevent garbage from accumulating on the premises, which may attract rodents.

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