Saturday, November 04, 2006

Passengers suffer as govt, airlines dodge fog blame

New Delhi: It's that time of the year again when dense fog grounds flights and passenger inconvenience takes off.
Even as the government is busy cracking the whip on airlines and directing them to train pilots on using CAT-2 and CAT-3B landing assistance system, they seem to be ignoring one fact: None of the fog-hit airports in India, besides Delhi, have a CAT-2 system installed for assisting flights.
So, if a CAT-2 trained pilot was to take off from Delhi during fog, it cannot land at any of the dozen-odd fog-hit airports as they are not equipped with the systems that assist such an operation.
A CAT-2 system enables pilots to land and take-off when runway visibility drops to 500 metres, while the CAT-3B system can assist flight operations at runway visibility levels of mere 50 metres. It's not that the government has never tried to upgrade the fog-hit airports, it's just that the efforts hit on-ground turbulence.
04/11/06 Byas Anand/Times of India
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