Dense fog hits flight, train schedules

More than 100 flights and 50 trains affected, one international flight diverted to Mumbai, seven flights cancelled

The dense fog on the coldest day in the Capital affected the schedule of more than 100 flights and 50 trains on Wednesday.

An international flight had to be diverted to Mumbai and operation of several others was affected due to fog at Indira Gandhi International Airport. A total of 50 trains, to and from Delhi, ran beyond their schedule, 23 were rescheduled, and 10 cancelled.

Dense fog started to set in at the airport around 11 pm on Tuesday and thickened between 3.30 am and 5 am. Visibility dropped to less that 25 m on the third runway (29-11), forcing authorities to suspend operations on it, airport sources said. Low visibility procedures (LVP) were initiated on Runway 29-11 at 10.19 pm on Tuesday and lifted at 12.30 pm on Wednesday. It was initiated on Runway 28-10 at 42 minutes past midnight and lasted for 12 hours, till 12.30 pm on Wednesday. Normal visibility stayed below 50 m from midnight till 9.30 am at both the runways.

However, operations remained normal at the main runway (28-10), where the visibility stayed above the permissible limit of 150 m for takeoff. The runway is equipped with CAT-IIIB instrument landing system at both ends. The ILS can facilitate landing of aircraft even when runway visibility is 150 meters.

Airport officials said a total of 162 flights were allowed to take off, and 137 flights could land at the IGI Airport during the period of LVP. While 40 flights landed under CAT-I conditions, 29 flights landed under CAT-II and 68 flight landed using CAT-III ILS.

Air India's flight (AI 314) from Hong Kong was diverted to Mumbai. Seven flights were cancelled on Wednesday either due to poor weather at destination or due to operational reasons. Four international flights had to be diverted to Jaipur and Mumbai after visibility dropped to less than 50 m.

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