In a good news for air travellers, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) authorities on Tuesday (December 17) said that they are fully ready for smooth operations during low visibility period this winter season. According to DIAL, the flyers at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport would experience fewer delays and cancellations this season as the meteorological department of the airport has doubled up the duration of its fog prediction window.
— Delhi Airport (@DelhiAirport) December 17, 2019
It is to be noted that until November 2019, airport officials were able to predict fog around 18 hours before its onset. According to DIAL officials, the new technology will help them in predicting foggy conditions nearly 36 hours in advance. The officials said that advanced prediction will help the airlines and Air Traffic Control (ATC) plan the flight schedule in a better manner, which will reduce disruptions.
According to officials, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, and the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida, have played an important role in advancing the prediction time by tripling the volume of data shared to airport officials.
Senior scientist at NCMRWF, RK Jenamani, said the date shared by these institutes includes real-time numerical model-based fog prediction guidance. The two institutes have joined hands with the United Kingdom Met office and weather forecast centres in the United States to collate the data.
IGI Airport has a footfall of around 69.23 million passengers per year, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. The Delhi ATC operates and controls at least one flight every minute. On January 18, 2019, at least 600 flights were suspended from Delhi due to foggy condition. On January 4, 2019, heavy fog affected the schedule of at least 400 flights.