Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport in chaos as thick fog and runway repairs hit flight ops

As Delhi has been grappling with severe cold in recent days, the flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in the national capital have been badly hit due to a thick blanket of fog.

Apart from reduced visibility, the situation got worse because Delhi Airport currently has only one CAT III-equipped runway for operations in low visibility. Runway 28/10 has been closed for scheduled re-carpeting since mid-September, according to ANI.

The diversion of flights during fog also depends on pilots being CAT-III trained. Pilots with CAT-III training are qualified and certified for Category III instrument landing approaches.

Category III (CAT-III) refers to a set of international standards for precision instrument approach and landing in adverse weather conditions. It involves advanced autopilot and ground equipment that enables aircraft to land in very low visibility conditions, such as dense fog or heavy rain.

Over 100 flights were delayed at IGI on Monday morning, as per the flight tracker website flightradar24. Additionally, five flights were diverted from Delhi Airport to Jaipur (04) and Ahmedabad (01) between 1 am and 5 am on Monday. Visibility at IGI was zero at 3 am, but it improved later on.

Amidst severe fog conditions, Delhi Airport issued an advisory for passengers, urging them to contact airlines before travelling. The airport authority stated on X (formerly Twitter), “Due to dense fog, flight operations at Delhi Airport may be affected. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information.” The post added, “Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”

Delhi on Monday recorded the coldest morning this winter as the minimum temperature dipped further to 3.3°C at Safdarjung.

On Sunday, low visibility and dense fog conditions also affected flight operations across North India, severely impacting IndiGo flight operations.

“Due to the low visibility and dense fog conditions across North India, IndiGo flight operations were impacted on January 14, 2024. This had a cascading effect on our operations throughout the day. Our staff kept passengers apprised of all delays and cancellations across airports and made every possible effort to facilitate the passengers. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our passengers,” stated an official statement from IndiGo Airlines.

Published By:

Vivek Mishra

Published On:

Jan 15, 2024

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