After giving some relief to air travellers on Monday, dense fog returned to disrupt flight movements at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Tuesday. Before Monday, the flight movements were disrupted for eight days since December 15, making it one of the longest spell of fog at Delhi airport.
On Tuesday, dense fog engulfed the airport since early morning and by 5:30 am only one of the three runways was available for commercial operations. At least 100 flights were affected, of which three were diverted and seven were cancelled. The remaining were delayed.
“Runway 28/10 was available throughout as runway visibility didn’t dip below 150 metres, which allowed flights to operate under CAT III conditions. The situation was different at runway 29/11, and it was closed for nearly three hours. Since only one runway was available for flight operations, it led to delay and cancellations,” said an airport official.
At 6 am, visibility dipped below 50 metres at runway 29/11 and it improved only after 8:30 am. “In the past nine days, the Delhi airport did not witness any fog only on Monday. Fog affected flight operations from the evening of December 15 till December 22 morning. On Wednesday, we may see fog in the morning hours but by the end of week, we expect another spell of dense fog,” said a Met department official.
Fliers who reached the airport on time had to wait as flights were delayed by 30 minutes to three hours. “By 5 am on Monday morning, the fog layer was blown away due to strong winds and for the first time in eight days, visibility increased above 200 metres, allowing all flights to operate in normal conditions,” said the official.
According to officials, the worst affected were smaller aircraft who couldn’t operate during these eight days of dense fog.