Monday, March 16, 2009

Dust storm disrupts flights at Guwahati

Guwahati: A strong dust storm disrupted flights at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport here this morning, for the second time within 10 days.
However, normality was restored after 1pm.
The regional executive director of the airport, S.C. Sharma, said three flights had to be turned back or diverted to Calcutta, as the storm reduced visibility to the 800-1,000 metres range, much below the requirement for landing.
He said an IndiGo flight from Delhi, which was to land here at 7am, was diverted to Calcutta.
A Calcutta-Guwahati JetLite flight, due to land here at 7.05am and an Alliance Airways flight, which took off from Calcutta at 8.15am, returned to their place of origin.
Apart from these flights and delays to a few other flights, he said, there was not much disruption in the flight schedule, as air traffic was less in the morning hours.
“There is no report of any flight being cancelled…Only several flights have been delayed,” he added.
Four flights had been diverted from the airport, while five others had been cancelled during the dust storm on March 6.
The instrument landing system (ILS) was removed from the airport on March 5 and landing was now done manually. For this, the minimum visibility should be 2,800 metres, an official said.
However, even if the ILS was in place, no landing could have been possible in the morning today, as the visibility had dropped below the 1,200 metres required for instrumental landing.
Sharma said the airport staff was working overtime to ensure that the ILS was put in place soon.
15/03/09 The Telegraph