Airlines must give food coupons to passengers stranded at the Delhi airport because of fog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said.
The facility will be extended to all passengers whose flights are delayed by more than an hour.
“Airlines must tie up with the restaurants in the terminal and offer passengers coupons so that they can take the food of their own choice. The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has been asked to liaise with airlines,” a senior DGCA official said.
According to the air traffic controller (ATC), fog reduces the capacity of runways by 40%, thereby making delays inevitable.
“Usually, the Delhi airport can handle 75 flight movements per hour. But during fog, the capacity is reduced. We also double the distance between two aircraft for safety,” SB Sharma, joint general manager (air traffic management), said.
“Mornings, the busiest time for domestic flights, during winters are mostly the worst. Once the fog lifts, we sometimes have 100 flights waiting for clearance,” Sharma said.
DIAL has taken steps to minimise inconvenience to passengers and ensure continuity of flight operations during low visibility. “The facilities being provided at T3 and T1D during this fog season are aimed at not just providing the passengers timely information but also to provide them with all possible amenities,” a DIAL spokesperson said.
“Co-operation can minimise the inconvenience and we have taken adequate measures both at the terminal and on the airside. Additional help desks have been set up to guide the passengers and, on the airside, 148 parking bays have lights that can guide aircraft during low visibility,” Marcel Hungerbuehler, chief operating officer of DIAL, said
The ATC will coordinate with pilots and give them information about the number of parking bays available at the nearby airports. “In case of diversions, pilots must know whether parking facilities are available at other airports,” Sharma added.