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Fog-free weekend for air travellers

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 02:44 IST
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The met department has predicted a fog-free weekend for air travellers after the skies remained relatively clear on Friday as well at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

There were no fog related delays at the airport and the lowest recorded Runway Visual Range (RVR) was 1,500 metres in the morning. Both runways were used simultaneously.

“There was very shallow fog in the morning on Friday, which is usual for this time of the year,” said R.K. Jenamani, Director of Indian Meteorological Department (IGI unit).

On Tuesday and Wednesday dense fog had caused a drastic dip in the RVR and only international carriers’ and Indian Airlines’ flights could operate with the CAT III-B Instrument Landing System.

But now even domestic private carriers should be able to operate in dense fog conditions after the government gave them CAT II/III certificates on Thursday. “We believe our passengers will face no problems now,” said Bruce Ashby, President and CEO of IndiGo. “Although our aircraft are CAT III-B equipped, we are happy with the CAT III-A certificate,” he said.

Apart from IndiGo, Kingfisher Airlines has also received the CAT III-A certificate, a spokeswoman said. Four other private carriers, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, Air Deccan and SpiceJet, have also received permission to operate in CAT II conditions.

“SpiceJet will now aim to be CAT III-A compliant by June 2007,” said Ajay Singh, Director SpiceJet. He said the low fare carrier has 50 trained pilots and 10 new CAT II-equipped aircraft.

“It is good that these airlines have now got permission to fly during dense fog and the congestion would ease at the airport. However, whether they are actually able to do so will be proved when dense fog reappears,” said a senior airport official.

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