Friday, November 10, 2017

Over 150 flights, 90 trains affected for third day running due to reduced visibility

Smog continued to disrupt flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport for the third day running on Thursday and added to the chaos already in place due to a closed runway and ongoing Air Traffic Control (ATC) congestion.

More than 150 flights, including both departures and arrivals, were affected as the visibility dipped at the airport during the early hours on Thursday. More than 90 trains were also affected.

According to airport officials, however, no diversions or flight cancellations were reported on Thursday, unlike Tuesday and Wednesday when the airport witnessed major air traffic menace with over 500 flight delays and diversions.

"Low visibility led to slowing down of air traffic, eventually causing backlog resulting in congestion in air traffic. As the main runway that is CAT III capable, is unavailable due to ongoing maintenance, runway 27-9 which is not as equipped, is bearing the traffic pressure with runway 28-10. Flights witnessed delay ranging from 30 minutes to more than an hour," said a senior officer.

The menace is, however, expected to worsen as the fog is likely to thicken with the winters approaching. DIAL, the airport operator, had informed in advance that its new runway 29-11 would remain shut for three days, from November 7 to 10.

This, the officials said, has also added to the slowdown of air traffic.

Officials said that keeping in mind fog and adverse weather conditions that are expected in future, they have planned to undertake several measures to ensure passenger convenience.
10/11/17 Anvit Srivastava/DNA