Govt allows flights in reduced visibility
New Delhi: With fog disrupting flight
operations from Delhi and other North Indian cities,
the government on Sunday changed its rules to allow flight movements
in reduced visibility conditions so as to ensure minimum
inconvenience to passengers.
As 38 flights were cancelled and 42, including 14
international flights, diverted due to fog, particularly in
Delhi, Civil Aviation Secretary SNA Zaidi reviewed the
situations with stakeholders including officials of airlines,
DIAL, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Met
"The ministry has taken a number of steps to ensure
that during fog and low visibility period, the safety of
flight operations is maintained and inconvenience to
passengers is minimised," Zaidi told reporters after the
"It is further reiterated that ministry and DGCA
attache paramount importance to safety of flight operations
during fog period," he said.
Under the new rules put in place, the visibility range
has been brought down from 175 metres to 150 metres for
operation of large aircraft and 150 metres to 125 metres for
smaller planes. This step will facilitate flight operations at
a lower visibility conditions and reduce delays, he said.
No flights will be operated if the visibility is lower
than 50 metres.
The new rules also ensure that airline would not carry
out boarding of passengers till the visibility has reached 125
"At present, at least 300 aircraft are category 3B
compliant and about 2100 pilots are category 3B trained. So we
have a large number of aircraft and pilot who can land during
low visibility conditions upto a visibility of 50 metres,"
Under category 3B instrument landing system, a flight
can operate if the visibility is more than 50 metres.
"We've also taken a step that aircraft which are not
compliant with category 3B conditions will follow a separate
fog schedule," he said.
Those aircraft which are not compliant with the 3B
instrument landing system will land only after 10.00 am when the
visibility is good. These aircraft, if they come to Delhi,
will have to follow this rule, he said.