200 flights delayed due to poor weather

With dense fog affecting the Delhi Airport for the second day in a row, Saturday saw major flight delays in the morning and afternoon hours. Most delays were caused due to air traffic congestion since only one runway was being used for most departures. About 200 flights were delayed through the day by one to four hours.”CAT-III dense fog enveloped the new runway between 4.30am and 8.30am during which time very few operations could take place. The main runway was used for almost all departures in the morning. Delhi handles about 900 flights each day and it is impossible to manage traffic with only one runway in operation,said sources.

Visibility went down from 200m to 50m, between 6.30pm on Friday to 12.30am on Saturday. From 1.30am, very dense fog developed over the area with visibility below 50m. However, there was some respite between 6.30am and 8.30am. The runway visibility range at the new runway fluctuated from 50m to almost zero between 1.30am and 7.30am.Low visibility procedures implemented close to midnight were finally lifted at 12.27pm. During this time, 49 flights operated in CAT-I conditions, 23 operated in CAT-II conditions and 17 operated in CAT-III conditions.

No departures are possible till RVR is at least 125m. The airport is prepared for arrivals at even 50m but usually only international flights operate at that minima. Several domestic flights chose to operate with a minimum RVR of 75m. For a short while, even the main runway could not be used. Many flights on Saturday were held back due to congestion. We were also handling Friday’s backlog,” said airport sources.

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