Monday, December 23, 2019

Kolkata: Fog hits flight operations for an hour as visibility plunges

Kolkata: In the first major fog-related disruption at Kolkata airport, several early morning flights that were to depart or arrive in Kolkata were delayed due to poor visibility. Altogether, 17 flights were affected during the hour-long period when visibility plunged.
Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air near the earth’s surface. It is a low-lying cloud and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography and wind conditions.

Fog forms when the difference between air temperature and dew point is less than 2.5. Fog begins to form when water vapour condenses into tiny liquid water droplets that are suspended in the air. “The factors at the airport on Sunday perfectly suited the conditions for fog formation,” said a meteorological department official.

The dew point is the temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapour.

IndiGo Airlines that operates over 110 flights a day from the city was the worst hit with seven flights delayed by 30-60 minutes. Three flights each of Air India and SpiceJet and two GoAir flights were also delayed by the fog.

Two incoming flights had to be diverted. A GoAir flight from Singapore was diverted to Nagpur while a Biman Bangladesh flight returned to Dhaka due to the poor weather condition in Kolkata.

After the commissioning of the advanced version of instrument landing system (ILS) last year, pilots trained in CAT III-B operations and flights equipped with requisite technology can land in visibility as low as 50m. However, lack of experience among a section of pilots to fly in low visibility situations means that most prefer to operate only when visibility is over 250m.
23/12/19 Times of India

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