Thursday, December 10, 2020

Poor visibility casualty: 50 flights delayed, two diverted

Kolkata: At least 50 incoming and outgoing flights were delayed by up to five hours and two flights had to be diverted in the season’s biggest fog disruption at Kolkata airport on Thursday. Flight operations came to a complete halt from 5am to 9.30am.

Weathermen have forecast fog on Friday morning as well. If the fog is as dense, disruptions will be far greater as Friday has 50 more flights. The situation would have been as crippling on Wednesday had the visibility over the runway remained as poor as Thursday. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, flights from six high-traffic cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Nagpur — are allowed to operate to Kolkata. Hence, the flight count on these three days is higher than the other four days.

“On Thursday, no flights could operate early in the morning. It was only after 9.30am that operations could be resumed. Meanwhile, 14 incoming flights were held up. So were 36 outgoing flights. Two flights were diverted,” said a senior airport official.

Visibility began declining from 1am and plummetted to below 50m by 3am. It stayed that way for the next several hours before the situation began improving and cleared the 1,000m mark around 10am. Indigo, which had 64 flights operating in and out of the airport on Tuesday, was the worst-hit with around 17 delayed departures. Flights of Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir reported delays as well.

10/12/20 Times of India

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