With the dreaded fog season just weeks away, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took stock of the fog preparedness of domestic carriers and airports affected by fog.
DGCA, India’s civil aviation regulator, held a meeting with representatives of airlines and airport authorities on Monday to discuss measures taken to tackle fog related problems in the winter season.
Every winter, thousands of air travellers are stranded at airports like Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) due to flights delayed or cancelled due to fog. Though IGIA now has two CAT III-B Instrument Landing System equipped runways, which help pilots to land in near zero visibility, most airlines don’t have trained pilots or aircraft equipped to use the system.
DGCA has decreed only those airlines, which have aircraft equipped to use signals sent from the ILS and trained pilots would be given departure slots before 10 am during the fog season.
Senior officials of Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL), which operates IGIA, were also present in the meeting and were asked about their fog preparedness.
“DIAL has said the new departure terminal 1D is spacious enough to accommodate passengers of delayed flights. They have also expanded the domestic arrival terminal 1C,” said a senior DGCA official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
All airlines had been directed to roster Category-II and Category-III ILS trained pilots during low visibility operations to and from IGI Airport daily, the official added.