Passengers landing at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) early on Monday were in for a shock when their flights took them to Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad instead of Delhi.
As the Delhi airport witnessed the season’s worst fog on Monday, 21 flights had to be diverted to other airports.
Over 200 flights were delayed and 11 cancelled. Though the airport has three runways, only two are equipped to handle operations in CAT-III conditions — when the runway visibility is above 50 metres but below 200 metres. But from 2:45am to 9am, runway 29 was closed as the visibility fell below 50 metres.
According to the Air Traffic Controller (ATC), delays are natural in the fog season as the capacity of runways gets reduced by 40%.
“After waiting for over an hour in the air, the pilot informed us that the flight is being diverted to Jaipur. There, we had to wait for four hours as the pilot was not getting permission to fly again,” a passenger travelling with a private airline said.
The sky, however, cleared by the afternoon and the temperature quickly climbed to 21 degrees, normal for this time of the year. The minimum was 10.6 degrees, three degrees above normal.
Meanwhile, with schools finally reopening in the city after a break of close to two weeks, many people faced problems because of the fog.
The weatherman has forecast rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The maximum temperature is also expected to fall.