New Delhi: Better flight management by air traffic control and near precise prediction of fog by the meteorological department has helped the Delhi airport to handle operations smoothly during this fog season so far.
"Airports Authority of India (AAI) has equipped the IGI airport with some of the modern CNS-ATM (Communication Navigation and Surveillance - Air Traffic Management) systems like instrument landing system (ILS) of Category III B on three ends of two runways which enables the air traffic controllers to guide the aircraft even when the runway visual range drops to 50 metres," AAI Chairman VP Aggarwal said.
Apart from this, AAI has installed advanced surface movement guidance and control system (ASMGCS) which acts as an extended eye of ATC during dense fog, he said at a conference on fog management organised by the Aeronautical Society of India.
"This helps more CAT-IIIB compliant aircraft to land and pilots get clearance for low visibility take-offs even during dense fog at the airport," Aggarwal said.
The Delhi airport being the busiest in country, witnessing an average 900 daily flight movements, suffers the most during the dense fog conditions leading to delays, cancellations and even diversion of several flights.
This winter, the airport has been witnessing fog from December 23 last year. The airport was enveloped in dense fog for six days so far this season, which led to disruption of over 400 flights.
Apart from it, ATC and all other stakeholders and civil aviation regulator -- Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have prepared special plans and schedules to handle fog-affected flights through a collaborative decision making process, the AAI Chairman said.
RK Jenamani, Director of the IGI airport met department, said the latest equipment provide a much clearer runway visual range (RVR) on two main runways.
Runway visual range (RVR) in aviation meteorology is the distance over which a pilot of an aircraft on the centreline of the runway can see the runway surface.
He said flight disruptions had occurred in the recent past also due to the smog from Punjab because of large-scale burning of grass besides dust plume coming from as far as Oman.
Aeronautical Society Joint Secretary Debashish Saha later said his organisation has been raising major operational issues in the aviation sector to enable concerned government agencies to take necessary measures.