Flight backlog grounds airport | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Flight backlog grounds airport

After a day of unprecedented chaos due to fog and technical glitches at the airport, flight operations remained normal on Sunday.

delhi Updated: Jan 03, 2010 23:37 IST
HT Correspondent

After a day of unprecedented chaos due to fog and technical glitches at the airport, flight operations remained normal on Sunday.

However, the huge backlog of flights that couldn’t operate on Saturday came back to haunt the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).

On Saturday, two Runway Visual Range (RVR) measuring machines had malfunctioned and couldn’t send live feeds to the air traffic control due to damaged cables.

Many international flights that were diverted on Saturday night due to fog arrived in Delhi on Sunday morning, several hours late.

Passengers stranded at other airports had a tough time. Airlines had to arrange for extra crewmembers as pilots and crew of diverted flights had completed their flight time limitations.

The backlog had a cascading effect till Sunday evening as flights were delayed by more than an hour. At least 100 flights were delayed and 15 were cancelled on Sunday due to congestion.

Thick fog had formed around midnight at IGIA but the sky started clearing by morning and normal operations were possible. Had the fog come back, IGIA would have been in trouble again as the technical glitches are yet to be taken care of.

Only Runway 29 is now capable of handling flights during dense fog as the faulty RVR machine on runway 28 is still to be replaced.

The Met Department, which maintains the machines, have brought a Wi-Fi unit from Pune to replace the faulty unit. However, a special cable that will connect the machine to ATC and met office will only be installed by Monday.

“We have completed our repair work and now have one runway completely equipped to handle flights during fog,” said Andrew Harrison, DIAL’s Chief Operating Officer.

DIAL said damaged cables have been patched but a modem at the Met Office is not working.

‘The Met Office has confirmed another modem is being sent from the city office to the airport,’ said a DIAL statement.

Meanwhile, passengers whose flights were cancelled or delayed thronged the reservation counters for alternative flights.

They also alleged poor treatment from the airline staffs at the counters.

Jet Airways today deployed two Airbus A-330 aircraft on Chennai-Colombo and Delhi-Dubai sectors in a bid to clear the backlog of passengers who could not fly due to fog.