The Capital continued to shiver with cold and dense fog wreaked havoc with flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday.
At least 150 flights were affected at Delhi’s IGI airport as visibility dropped to zero from Tuesday night. The runway visibility went below 100 metres and as a result seven flights had to be diverted, 10 flights cancelled and four rescheduled at the airport.
Air passengers had a tough day with flights delayed from one to four hours. Many had to spend hours sitting inside aircraft waiting for visibility to improve so the aircraft could take off. Those arriving at Delhi had to hover for long durations before landing.
With dense fog conditions continuing for more than 10 hours, what made matters worse was closure of Delhi’s air space between 11.15 am and 12.15 pm for Republic Day rehearsals.
If fog descended in full force, the cold did not let up either. On Wednesday, the minimum temperature dropped to 6.6. degrees Celsius from Tuesday’s 8.4 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature, recorded at 18.6 degree Celsius, was two notches down from the normal temperature this time of the year and more than a degree below Tuesday’s maximum temperature – 19.8 degree Celsius.
Fog is once again expected to make an appearance early on Thursday and the temperature, according to the met department, is expected to oscillate between six and 19 degrees.
“Such cold weather conditions are normal for this time of the year and this will continue for the next three days, after which the temperature may slightly rise,” a duty officer at the Safdarjung Met office said.
At the airport, thick fog started setting in from late evening on Tuesday and after 10.30 pm, visibility dropped to zero. The condition worsened in the morning when the runway visibility dropped to 75 metres for both the main runway 28 and new runway 29.
At both runways, low visibility procedures had to be implemented for 10 hours and 38 minutes. Very few flights operated during this period, using the CAT-III B instrument landing system (ILS).