Fog hits city, spoils travel plans on X'mas | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Fog hits city, spoils travel plans on X'mas

Over 100 flights, trains affected on Tuesday; situation worsened at midnight as both runways remained shut for an hour.

delhi Updated: Dec 26, 2012 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent

Dense fog continued to disrupt air and rail traffic as over 100 trains and same number of flights were affected due to dense fog on Tuesday.

The situation is expected to remain the same on Wednesday with the Indian Meteorological Department forecasting thick fog at the Indira Gandhi International Airport for Wednesday morning as well.

The Met department has forecast very dense fog (CAT III B) till around 2am on Wednesday. The visibility is expected to go above 500m only after 10.30am. "Seven flights (one international and six domestic) were diverted to alternative airports while over a dozen flights were cancelled.

Nearly 100 flights were running late as there was a huge backlog of flights," an airport source said.

The situation was worse at midnight as the operations were shut down on both the runways for an hour. "The operations resumed after 1am at runway 28 but landing and take-offs were suspended at runway 29 for over eight hours and the situation improved only after 8am," the source added.

With only one runway available for operation, the flights were asked to hover in the air. The airport is likely to have 120 hours of dense fog this season and flight operations are likely to get affected for 35 days.

According to Air Traffic Controller (ATC), delays are natural in fog season as the capacity of runways is reduced by 40 per cent. "During normal time, Delhi airport can handle 75 flight movements per hour but during fog the capacity is decreased. For safety, we also double up the distance between two movements," an air traffic controller said.

Meanwhile, the train movements were also affected as 55 trains were delayed and over 50 trains were cancelled or rescheduled.