Dense fog has started playing truant with flight schedules at Delhi airport. More than 60 flights, both domestic and international, were delayed on Saturday at the Indira Gandhi International Airport .
Some of these flights, said a senior airport official, were delayed for up to eight hours.
“Next 48 hours are going to be real tough. The humidity level has already touched 94 per cent and wind is calmer. The air temperature has also dropped. Visibility on the runway might drop to as low as 50 metres on Sunday morning,” said RK Jenamani, director, IGIA MET department.
According to airport officials, fog started forming over the airport in the afternoon. “Visibility in the afternoon was poorer than early morning,” an official said.
Poor visibility affected flight operation not only in Delhi but in other cities as well. Patna airport was worst affected due to the failure of its Instrument Landing System.
“An Indian Airline flight (IC 409) from Delhi to Patna took off at 11:45 am from Delhi Airport. The flight had to return due to ILS failure at Patna Airport and landed at Delhi Airport at 12:50 pm. All flights to Patna were delayed for the same reason,” said an IGIA official.
A Lucknow flight was delayed by one hour while a flight coming to Ranchi was delayed for almost five hours. Flights from Goa, Khajurao and Chandigarh were also delayed.
Officials said delays happened in the evening due to congestion and decreasing visibility on both runways.
The runway visibility range hovered around 1000-metre throughout the day, but suddenly started falling around 4 pm and by 6 pm it was just about 500-metres, an airport official said.