A host of glitches plaguing the Indira Gandhi International Airport is threatening to play spoilsport with flyers' winter holiday plans. The main problem is a technical fault with the instrument landing system (ILS) of a runway.
The airport has three runways. Runway 28/10 is its main workhorse and handles a majority of the flights. It is equipped with CAT III-B instrument landing system that guides pilots to land in near zero visibility (up to 50 metres).
The ILS, however, has developed a technical fault due to which it can manage landing in shallow fog only."Runway 28 is equipped to handle CAT III B operations. But due to a problem in signaling, currently it is able to handle only CAT II — for visibility needs to be above 350 metres — operations. This means that during dense fog, when IGI Airport witnesses long hours of zero visibility, flyers will either get stuck in the air or on the ground," said a senior airport officer, who did not want to be identified.
Private airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), which are responsible for maintenance of ILS, have been trying to ascertain the reason behind the technical fault for the past two months, but have failed to find the solution yet.
DIAL has now put the onus on AAI and is waiting for their response.
In the past few years, IGIA has witnessed nearly 100 hours of below 350m visibility every season.
Now, with only one runway left for landing and take off, the winter season is going to be tough for passengers.
“Only Runway 29/11 will be available for operations, but if we go by past records, visibility at Runway 29 dips much faster in comparison with other runways. This will result into lots of flight delays and diversions,” the officer added.
Also, if only Runway 29 is available for operations, airlines operating from domestic terminal 1D will have to spend 40 minutes in taxing to reach their parking bays.