Gear up for winter fog, DGCA tells airport


New Delhi : Keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s chaotic situation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Tuesday issued guidelines to airlines, airport authorities and the meteorological department to gear up for the winter fog that is expected early next month.

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“The Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) prepared for the aircraft operations up to CAT IIIB visibility conditions at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport shall be strictly followed by all the agencies at the airport,” the DGCA said in a press statement.

The duty officer at the metrological department at the IGI airport must inform the watch supervisory officer in charge of the Air Traffic Control whenever the runway visual becomes less than 1,200 meters and when the visibility forecast indicates deterioration of visibility to 800 meters or less.

The DGCA said the information should be passed on to the airlines and other agencies whenever enquiries are received from airlines to plan their flight schedules.

“The airlines, on the basis of the above information, shall plan their departures and arrival at IGI airport and simultaneously commence necessary facilitation processes to avoid inconvenience to their passengers,” the statement added.

The met department should also keep the equipment serviced and post senior officials as required, it said.

It has asked the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) officials to monitor the information and take necessary measures to help passengers.

Last winter, foggy conditions led to complete chaos at the capital’s domestic airport for several days.

Many passengers could face a similar situation this year as many private airlines are not keen to train their pilots on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) that helps flights land and take off even in thick fog, an airport official said.

Among the 12-13 domestic airlines that operate nearly 170 flights a day from here, only Indian and Kingfisher are capable of flying in thick fog conditions, he said.