Thick fog delays over 50 flights in Delhi


New Delhi : As many as 50 flights were delayed at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Monday after a thick blanket of fog engulfed the national capital in the morning, reducing runway visibility to 650 metres.

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One domestic and one international flight were diverted to Jaipur.

According to airport officials, the safeguard procedures were initiated at 3.40 a.m. when runway visual range (RVR) fell to 1,300 metres, allowing aircraft to fly on CAT-I procedures.

“Low visibility procedure (LVP) was enforced at 6.15 a.m. when the runway visual range (RVR) further fell to 650 metres, allowing use of only one runway and airlines equipped with CAT III equipments. Delhi has currently two runways and only one can be used during the LVP,” an official said.

CAT-III is a system that allows compatible aircraft and trained pilots to land even when runway visibility is up to 50 metres.

The LVP was terminated after nearly six hours at around 11.50 a.m. when RVR improved to 1,500 metres, the official said.

Officials said over 50 flights, mainly those taking off, got delayed for more than two hours leaving a huge backlog of flights. Hundreds of passengers remained stranded for hours.

“Flights of Jet Airways, JetLite, Indigo and Air Deccan bound for Jammu, Srinagar, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Shimla were severely affected. One international flight and one domestic flight was diverted towards Jaipur airport,” the airport official said, maintaining that no flight was cancelled.

The official said over 103 flights – arrival and departure of 80 domestic and 23 international – were operated during the LVP procedure.

The Meteorological Department at IGI airport had predicted a clear but cloudy sky for the day.