Dense fog plays havoc with flight schedules



New Delhi: Dense fog once again played havoc with the schedule of around 175 flights at the Indira Gandhi International airport on Friday.

Around 144 flights were delayed, 10 were cancelled and four were diverted as fog enveloped the airport early this morning. Flights were delayed by upto five hours, causing inconvinence to passengers.

As fog began to descend around 0130 AM, visibility dipped to a low of 800 metres forcing authorities to implement low visibility procedures.

Visibility dropped further at dawn and hovered between 75 to 100 metres between 5.30AM to 8.30 AM, affecting the departure of flights.

Since, the visibility was less than 125 metres, below the required minima for low visibility take-off (LVTO) of 125 metres and 150 metres for different types of aircraft, no flights could take-off, an airport official said.

However, as visibility improved, some flights took off but again operations were stalled when visibility dipped again, he said.

Two Jet Airway flights from Doha and Abu Dhabi and one Kingfisher flight from Dubai were diverted to Jaipur while one BlueDart cargo flight from Chennai was diverted to Ahmedabad.

According to sources, the flights were diverted as the pilots were not trained to operate a CAT-III B plane or the plane was not CAT-III B complaint, which is essential for operation in low visibility when CAT-III B operations are on.

Three flights were cancelled due to inclement weather conditions at Delhi, three others due to poor weather at destination and four others by the airlines due to operational reasons.

PTI