With 21 per cent more flights allowed by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), advancing foggy conditions this winter in addition to no new nearby airports to fall back on for flight diversions, India’s largest and busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport (DIAL) in New Delhi could witness more flight delays and cancellations during the ensuing foggy cold season.
A top official with DGCA told Express that two of the nearest airports — Amritsar and Lucknow — operated by state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) have missed two deadlines in their bid to be CAT III-B compliant by October 30.
The CAT III-B level of instrument landing system (ILS) enables aircraft to land when the visibility is down to 50 metres. It guides an aircraft in approaching and landing on a runway by a combination of radio signals and high-intensity lighting arrays. Besides, ILS also helps pilots while landing during heavy rainfall.
The DGCA official explained that they expect Amritsar airport to be CAT III B-ready by December-end or January next year. But by then, most of the mess due to the winter fog would be nearing its end,
the official added.
A thick blanket of fog starts building up over Delhi and other parts of northern India around the third week of December and continues for over a month. Last winter, foggy conditions prevailed at the IGI airport for over a month from the third week of December 2015 to the first week of February 2016. Many morning flights were either cancelled or delayed due to extreme fog conditions during this period. Currently, the Jaipur airport is the only nearby option for incoming flights which could be diverted there in case of extreme foggy conditions as it has CAT III-B-level ILS. Von Miller Womens JerseyShare This