Delhi airport ready to ‘see through’ fog
To prevent flight cancellations and delays due to fog, 18 Runway Visibility Range (RVR) equipment have been installed at the Delhi airport to help flights land even in zero visibility.delhi Updated: Dec 06, 2016 22:50 IST
To prevent flight cancellations and delays due to fog, 18 Runway Visibility Range (RVR) equipment have been installed at the Delhi airport to help flights land even in zero visibility.
The real-time information will be given to the Air Traffic Controller, which will inform the airlines coming to Delhi to help them schedule landings.
The ATC will also segregate the aircraft in the air and those equipped to land in low visibility will be put in front of others. Also, if the weather prediction is bad and there are many flights lined up to land, the ATC will ask other airports not to allow flights to take-off for Delhi till the weather clears.
Last week, Delhi witnessed three days of dense fog and another spell of fog is expected from Wednesday. This season, between December and February, Delhi airport is expected to witness 100 hours of dense fog.
“We are fully prepared to handle flight operations this year. CAT-IIIB system installed at Delhi airport is capable of handling flight arrivals with Runway Visibility Range of up to 50 M. At an operational level it talks volumes of our capabilities of emergency preparedness and crises response,” DIAL CEO, I Prabhakara Rao, said.
The capacity at the terminals and airside has been increased and in case the runway operations are shut for less than 30 minutes, the ATC will not queue up for more than 17 planes in an hour. In normal scenario, 35 planes land at Delhi airport in an hour.
“If operations remains shut for more than 30 minutes, no additional aircraft will be allowed within 70 nautical miles of Delhi. The priority will be given to the flights that have been diverted to other airports. The preventive and mandatory checks of all the equipment have been carried out as per the maintenance schedule. The refresher training for Air Traffic Controllers has been conducted,” said AK Bhardwaj, general manager, Air Traffic Movement (ATM)-ATC.
Three runways at the IGI Airport; 28, 29 and 11 are certified for CAT III B operations, which would allow landing of the compliant aircraft with visibility as low as 50 metres. Aircraft can take off in a visibility of 125 M.
The Met department has also installed 30 equipment to study the fog pattern. This is to understand different physical and chemical features of fog and factors responsible for its genesis, intensity and duration.
“The goal is to develop methods for forecasting winter fog on various temporal and spatial scales, and help reduce its adverse impact on aviation, transportation and economy, and loss of human life due to accidents,” said RK Jenamani, director, airport met department.