Flight schedules at the Delhi airport went haywire as sudden dense fog descended early in the morning on Thursday. Friday might also be the same.
At least 200 flights were affected, including 18 flights that had to be diverted to other airports due to very poor visibility at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Operations came to a standstill for nearly three hours at the airport as visibility dropped to 50 metres.
Flight operations almost came to halt between 7 am and 10am as the runway visibility was far below the required minimum range of 125 metres for low visibility take-offs. Poor runway visibility, which dropped to 50 metres at one point of time, delayed the departure of about 60 morning flights while 18 incoming flights had to be diverted to
Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Lucknow airports. Four domestic flights were cancelled.
Flights were delayed by one to eight hours with cascading effect of the severe fog seen till late in the evening.
Fog started to descend at the airport around 3.30am and low visibility procedures were implemented at 4.44am and remained in effect till 11.35am. Visibility dipped below 50 metres by 7am, severely affecting flight movement. During the period, a total of 120 flights landed using various categories of instrument landing system.
As the dense fog took the airport authorities by surprise, passengers faced a tough time. Many passengers had to spend more than three hours sitting in planes, waiting for fog to lift. The aircraft, however, remain firmly parked on the taxiways for hours owing to poor visibility. The met department had predicted fog at the airport.