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Airport prepares for fog to land

The IGI Airport has been witnessing poor visibility for the past few days, making flight operations difficult, reports Sidhartha Roy.

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2007 02:23 IST
Sidhartha Roy

Dense fog is expected to touch down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in a couple of weeks but problems for passengers have already started. In preparation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued a slew of measures on Tuesday to counter fog-related problems.

The IGI Airport has been witnessing poor visibility for the past few days, making flight operations difficult. The visibility went down to 700m on Tuesday morning — the figure was 800m on Monday.

Tuesday morning saw huge traffic congestion at the airport delaying flights.

“There are no major delays yet due to the visibility problem, but it resulted in congestion despite simultaneous operation of the both the runways,” an air traffic controller said.

He said the problem was aggravated by ongoing construction work for the new the new terminal near the airport. “The huge amount of dust generated by the construction and excavation work is worsening the already deteriorating visibility,” he said.

Passengers of an Air India Express Dubai-Lucknow-Delhi-Mumbai flight (IX-102D) had a harrowing time after it got delayed for over six hours and protested outside the airline office. The flight was scheduled to fly at 8 a.m. but the aircraft arrived IGI at 12.15 a.m., an Air India spokesman said. It finally took off at around 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, the DGCA issued guidelines for low-visibility procedures for airlines, air traffic control and the Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd. on Tuesday. DGCA has asked all low-cost carriers to provide tea, water and snacks to passengers of delayed flights or use a coupon scheme to be introduced by DIAL. Airlines would also have to augment their ground staff at the airport to help passengers.

Airlines have been ordered to inform passengers of the delay, rescheduling or cancellation of flights in advance through SMS. The airlines have failed on this count last year.