At least 70 inbound flights, including three international ones, were delayed on Saturday morning due to low visibility during the day at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Smog reduced visibility to 750m on Saturday morning. Moreover, one of the two runways equipped to handle flights during low visibility was closed for an hour adding to delays in arrival time.
“The new runway at the airport is equipped with an Instrument Landing System, which enables a pilot to land a plane even when he cannot see the runway,” said a spokesperson of Airport Authority of India, which handles air traffic at IGI Airport. However, the ILS is dependent on the data provided by Runway Visual Range (RVR) machine, which gives exact status of visibility.
“The RVR machine was not working and therefore the ILS could not be used. We had to shut down the new runway for an hour,” the spokesperson said.
“The sky usually opens up during daytime. But visibility has been down since yesterday due to smog, dust and pollution,” said R.K. Jenamani, director in-charge, Meteorological Department, IGI Airport.