Govt allows flights in reduced visibility



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 Department.

"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 review meeting.

"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 metres.

"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," Zaidi said.

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.

PTI