The impact of Friday’s fog coupled with a few hours of low visibility on Saturday morning led to flight delays on Saturday morning too. More than 150 flights were delayed as priority was given to those stranded since Friday. Moreover, from 5.30am to 8.30am, only a few flights managed to operate as visibility kept fluctuating.
“The visibility dipped on Saturday morning too but conditions improved after 8.30am. But since the airport operations were closed for seven hours on Friday, it led to massive congestion. The airport which handles close to 900 movements every day, cannot afford to stay closed for even a second,” a senior airport officer requesting anonymity said.
The Met department has predicted that the density of fog will go down in the next two days, but January 2 is expected to witness dense haze. “Till January 5, there will be a lot of fluctuation in weather. Due to the cyclone, we are expecting rain in the coming days. The next phase of dense fog is expected from January 5 onwards,” RK Jenamani, director, IGIA Met department, said.
Sources said on Saturday, runway 29 remained closed for three hours from 5:30am to 8:30am though runway 28 did handle a few flights. “As visibility was below 100m at runway 28 too, flight operations were affected. Since there was still a backlog, flights were delayed,” an airport official said.
About 300 flights were delayed on Friday due to heavy fog, with the delay time ranging from five to 12 hours. Also, 44 flights were cancelled and 30 diverted. “I reached the airport on time since there was no information about the delay. But after getting the boarding pass, we were informed that the flight was delayed due to air congestion,” Ranjana Seth, a passenger said.