Fog returned to the Capital early Thursday morning, disrupting air and rail operations. Six flights were cancelled and over 80 flights, both international and domestic, were delayed, some of them by 2-3 hours, due to dense fog engulfing the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Some Delhi-bound express trains also reached late by 2-3 hours due to poor visibility in northern India.
According to the airport officials, runway visibility remained less than 100-metres for more than five hours from about 4 am till 9.30 am affecting the flight operations.
Six international flights , from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Helsinki, had to be diverted to Jaipur and Mumbai due to poor visibility at the IGI Airport on Thursday. The cancelled flights included Indian Airlines Dubai flight, three outbound Jet airways flight for Lucknow, Jaipur and Mumbai and two inbound Jet airways flight from Lucknow and Mumbai.
While fog had started descending the Delhi airport at about 2 am, the airport authorities initiated the low visibility procedure (LVP) at 2.53 am the airport officials said that 64 flights, including 19 international and 45 domestic operated during the LVP, before it was lifted at 10.34 am.
“Both the runways were in use during the LVP. In fact, we also used the secondary runway (runway 11) for about four hours for both arrival as well as departure,” a senior airport official said.
While airport officials claim to have handled flight operations well during fog conditions, passengers did face some problems. Passengers alleged that they were not informed about the delay or cancellation beforehand. “We braved icy winds and fog to reach the airport only to be told flights were not taking off,” said SC Chawla, a passenger.