Saturday, January 13, 2018

Smog caused by Bhogi bonfires disrupts flight operations at Chennai airport

Chennai: Flight operations were disrupted at Chennai airport on Saturday morning after smog reduced visibility to less than 50 metres. Bhogi bonfires lit by residents as part of the Pongal festival is considered to be the reason for the smog. Bhogi, celebrated ahead of the Tamil harvest festival Pongal on Sunday, involves burning of old articles in a symbolic gesture of bidding adieu to the old and welcoming the new.
More than 10 flights have been diverted to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Coimbatore.
A senior Airports Authority of India official said flight operations were expected to resume only after 9am.
"The last arrival was at 2.50am and the last departure was at 3am. All departures are holding while other airports have been informed to delay departures to Chennai," he added.The flights that were diverted to Bengaluru are an IndiGo flight from Dubai, an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah, Gulf Air from Bahrain and Air India from Dubai.
13/01/18 V Ayyappan/Times of India