Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Flights Delayed And Canceled in Delhi Again After Coldest December Day For Over 100 Years

Monday saw the temperature in New Delhi reach a high of just 9.4 degrees centigrade, making it the coldest December day in the city since 1901. This has meant a thick blanket of fog has covered the city due to the unseasonably cold North-Westerly winds. Combined with New Delhi’s poor air quality this has led to what has become a common layer of fog, which has not only caused extensive travel disruption but additionally led to hundreds of deaths in 2019 alone from the poor air quality.

Monday saw over 20 flights diverted from Indira Gandhi International Airport, with a further 40 cancelations and over 300 delays due to the smog and poor visibility caused by Delhi’s cold snap.

When visibility drops, many flights have to rely on CAT III B Instrument landing System (ILS). The ILS allows aircraft to land with visibility as low as just 50 metres, and when visibility drops below 125 metres. Despite New Delhi’s International airport being equipped with CAT III B ILS the issue in Delhi is that not all pilots are certified for this ILS.
As recently as November I reported that the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed 999 in Delhi, which was literally off the charts to accurately measure. By comparison, a safe level of AQI is measured at 50. At the time Delhi’s air quality was over 20 times a safe recording, which led to the government imposing emergency measures in an attempt to quell the issue that has been devastating peoples’ health and the economy.
06/01/20 James Asquith/Forbes
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