Hundred flights delayed

There were only a couple of hours of dense fog at IGI airport on Tuesday but low visibility procedures had to be implemented for practically the entire day as visibility hovered at CAT-I levels. About 100 flights were delayed, though none were cancelled or diverted for the first time in four days, as airlines finally started to deal with the backlog since Saturday.

According to Met records, there was dense fog at the airport for about an hour at 1.30am and then again around 5.30am with general visibility falling to a low of 200m. However, runway visual range remained well above 700m on both the new and main runways. CAT-I operations took place on the new runway from 10pm on Monday to almost 8am on Tuesday. Then again, LVP had to be implemented at 9.16am and went on till almost 5pm. Soon after, another spell of low visibility led to LVP being implemented at 5.44pm and it was still on at 11pm. The main runway fared slightly better with LVP being implanted on it initially only around 10.10am on Tuesday but after that it kept pace with the new runway. Visibility at the airport was lowest between 2pm and 4pm when RVR went down to about 400m.

During the night, only 63 operations took place while the remaining part of the day saw over 300 operations. Several late night flights, specially the international ones, were rescheduled for the morning though nobody was able to explain why these did not take off as per schedule if visibility was not poor. “The visibility was much better this time but there were still delays in the morning since we had to deal with flights that had been diverted. Because of the delays and diversions of the past three days, our aircrafts were placed quite haphazardly around the country and we had to juggle with schedules slightly. However, we are hoping that if the weather conditions stay the same for the next couple of days, things would be back to normal,” said an airline official.

International flights also did not fare so well with both Europe and the US reeling under severe snowstorms. The fog in Delhi might be clearing but our schedules have gone haywire as it is with important cities like New York which closed because of heavy snow. The long haul flights are severely affected and once the fog is back in Delhi,

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