The operator of Kansai Airport has begun exterminating migratory locusts around its second runway, scheduled to open Aug. 2, to prevent them presenting a potential hazard to landing and departing aircraft.
According to the firm, when the airport opened in 1994, there was a similar mass generation of locusts on the reclaimed airport island, due to the insect's lack of natural enemies, such as snakes and mice. As a result, the first runway was forced to close temporarily.
he insects are three to five centimeters long, but can grow to about 10 centimeters. If left alone, they are likely to inhabit the airport island until November.
"When they mature, they swarm. So we needed to take measures against them as soon as possible," said an employee in charge of facility management at the firm.