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CAT let down flight in light fog

ON THURSDAY, fog reduced runway visibility at the Delhi Airport to 150 metres ? enough for flights to land and take off using the recently installed Category III B Instrument Landing System. But that did not happen: nine flights were diverted, two cancelled, a dozen rescheduled and two dozen delayed.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 18:43 IST

ON THURSDAY, fog reduced runway visibility at the Delhi Airport to 150 metres — enough for flights to land and take off using the recently installed Category III B Instrument Landing System. But that did not happen: nine flights were diverted, two cancelled, a dozen rescheduled and two dozen delayed.

Three Indian (Airlines) flights took off in the morning, assisted by the landing system. But no aircraft, including those with pilots trained for CAT III B ILS, landed for about 10 hours from midnight, pointing to the reluctance of the pilots to use the system.

Some pilots said they did not exactly trust the CAT III B ILS. They gave the example of an incident on December 25. A Canadian Airlines flight, which landed at the airport with the help of CAT III B, ended up with damaged wings.

A few years ago, the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association had declared the Delhi Airport unsafe. AAI officials, however, defended the landing system.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 18:43 IST