The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has the most sophisticated equipment in the country to handle fog related problems. But in front of the unprecedented fog on Sunday, even these state-of-the-art gadgets couldn’t do much to help.
Delhi’s IGI airport boasts of Category IIIB Instrument Landing System (ILS) at both its runways which helps trained pilots to land even if the visibility is only up to 50m. The ILS cannot be used if visibility dips below 50m, which was the case on Saturday and Sunday.
Some experts believed that the solution is to install the big daddy — the CAT IIIC ILS.
This category can help pilots, if they are trained, to land in zero visibility. ILS is a ground-based instrument approach system that uses a combination of radio signals and lighting arrays to guide aircraft in landing when the runway is not properly visible to the naked eye.
“The use of CAT IIIC ILS can be proposed at IGI to allow more flight operations during fog,” said RK Jenamani, director-in-charge, IGIA Met unit. “Many cities in Russia, which witnesses very bad visibility due to snowing and some countries in Europe use CAT IIIC.”
However, former director general of civil aviation HS Khola did not agree with its usage. “CAT IIIC is available, but it is not used by civil airports because no country allows flight operations at such low visibility,” he said. “It cannot be used at Indian airports.”