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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

New devices, more planning: Delhi’s IGI Airport getting fog-ready

RK Jenamani, head of the Indira Gandhi international airport’s MeT department, said it was impossible to exactly predict the duration of fog but preparations are in place to minimise its affects on flights.

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2018 14:23 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi’s IGI airport has got a Ceilometer for early prediction of fog. The device uses a light source to measure the height of a cloud base.
Delhi’s IGI airport has got a Ceilometer for early prediction of fog. The device uses a light source to measure the height of a cloud base.(HT File / Photo used for representational purpose)
         

The duration of fog spells in Delhi have declined sharply in November and December this year compared to the previous winter, data released by the India Meteorological Department on Thursday stated.

Scientists, however, said it would too soon to forecast if there would be fewer or more foggy days in January 2019 as compared to the previous period.

Even if the fog sets in, the Delhi airport operator assured they have made adequate arrangements to minimise passenger inconvenience during flight delays and cancellations.

Meteorological department data says that in 2016-2017, at least 28 days saw visibility less than 200 metres while on 14 days, the visibility was less than 50 metres. In 2017-2018, only 17 days had visibility less than 200 metres and 12 days with visibility less than 50 metres.

RK Jenamani, head of the Indira Gandhi international airport’s MeT department, said it was impossible to exactly predict the duration of fog but preparations are in place to minimise its affects on flights.

As reported by HT earlier, the MeT department has installed a Ceilometer, for the first time, for early predictions. The device uses a light source to measure the height of a cloud base. With its help, the department can generate more accurate early warnings that can be timely conveyed to the airlines and the air traffic control (ATC). This data can be used to reduce congestion and delays.

In addition, the department will use a microwave radiometer this year for accurate fog detection.

The airport operator, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), has also made adequate arrangements to minimise inconvenience caused to the passengers stranded because of flight cancellations and delays.

The flyers will be able to buy paid meals at food stalls. “Airlines issue food coupons to passengers when a flight is either cancelled or delayed for long hours. Earlier, these coupons could be used only at specific stalls but we have allowed flyers to avail of the facility at any food stall inside terminal,” said a DIAL spokesperson.

The DIAL, with help from CISF, is also streamlining the exit process of passengers whose flights have been cancelled. “We have had meetings and drills with the CISF to plan a smooth exit of passengers who are stranded after their flight is cancelled,” DIAL said.

Flyers can also book parking space online at the Delhi airport’s website and park their vehicles before flying out. DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said their teams inside the terminal will ensure sufficient food and beverage and will provide real-time flight information.

On the airside, Jaipuriar said, their staff provides a follow-me service to ensure seamless movement of aircraft in dense fog and maintain vigil to avoid any untoward incident.

First Published: Dec 21, 2018 14:20 IST