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Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 04, 2012
Get ready for flight delays and diversions as the fog season is expected to hit the capital on December 10. To ensure the safety of flights and passengers, the DGCA asked airport operators of Delhi and nearby cities to stop all construction work. “All construction work should be stopped in the operational areas at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) should also not undertake any construction work at the airports in Jaipur, Lucknow, Amritsar, Ahmedabad and Varanasi,” a DGCA official said.

Apart from asking the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to gear up, the DGCA asked the AAI to instruct alternative airports to prepare for the fog season as flights unable to land in Delhi would be diverted to other cities.

The DGCA specifically asked the airlines to ensure that passengers were provided basic amenities at alternative airports when the flights are diverted.

Passengers stuck at nearby airports need not to worry as the aviation regulator asked the air traffic control (ATC) to give priority to diverted flights.

“ATC should sequence the aircraft and give clearance for take-off based on requests in order to avoid congestion, both in the air and on ground,” the official added.

Airlines were asked not to operate planes without with CAT-III facilities that allow aircraft to land in near-zero visibility conditions.

The regulator laid special emphasis on the first day of the fog. “Every year, the first day of the fog is a nightmare for passengers as airlines operate planes not equipped with CAT III facilities. They have been instructed not to repeat it this year,” he added.