Delhi airport gears to tackle foggy winter

December 20th, 2011 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) With Delhi airport likely to be fogged out for the next two months, the airport authorities have made special provisions to look after passengers, including extra seating capacity and food and beverage counters, in case of flight delays or cancellations.

Sounding the fog warning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Tuesday said the condition is expected to last from Dec 20-to-Feb 20.

“The fog season has started from today and it will last upto Feb 20 next year,” R.K. Jenamani, director, meteorological department, IGI airport, told IANS.

According to Jenamani, heavy fog conditions will last for around 120 hours in the next two months. This would affect runway visibility.

Runway visibility upto 50 metres can be tackled by CAT-III (category-III instrument landing system (ILS). But if it reduces further, then flights will be affected.

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the company which operates the IGI airport said it has initiated steps to help passengers, like opening additional help desks and food and beverages (F&B;) counters besides increasing seating capacity at Terminal-3 and Terminal-1D.

“We have taken certain number of steps such as increasing seating capacity at T3 and T1D. We are constantly in touch with all the parties involved like airlines and the met department to monitor the situation,” Marcel Hungerbuehler, chief operating officer, DIAL, told IANS.

The airport operator has increased seating capacity from 12,000 to 13,150 in T3 and from 2,200 to 2,700 in T1D.

Heavy fog conditions prevented many flights from taking off in many places in north India Monday, which led to cancellation of 11 flights at the IGI airport. However, no flights were cancelled due to foggy condition at the Indira Gandhi International airport.

“Eleven flights were cancelled yesterday, due to low visibility at other airports where the flights were to take off,” I.P. Rao, chief executive DIAL, said.

Currently, all three runways at the IGI airport can operate in CAT III B conditions which allows compliant aircraft with specific gear and pilots trained in using the ILS to land even when the runway visibility is down to 50 meters.

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