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Fog clears way for air travellers

The private consortium that runs the airport deployes private workers for keeping the airport premises clean, reports Sidhartha Roy.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 02:31 IST

After playing spoilsport for two consecutive days at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the weather cleared on Thursday bringing reprieve to air travellers. Flight operations were normal as there was no drop in visibility due to fog on Thursday.

However, flights to and from Kolkata were affected due to the strike called by Left-affiliated trade unions. Employees of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) at the Delhi airport also joined the strike but flight operations were not disrupted.

The private consortium that runs the airport, Delhi International Airport (Private) Limited (DIAL), deployed private workers on Thursday for keeping the airport premises clean. “We had also requested the Delhi Fire Service to provide us fire tenders as a back-up as it is essential for safe flight operations,” said a DIAL official.

Flights rescheduled

After reviewing the CAT-II/III compliance of pilots of various airlines, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made changes in the winter schedules of the carriers. CAT III Instrument Landing System is meant for low-visibility operations. DGCA rescheduled 13 departures and cancelled six.

Seventeen arrivals were rescheduled and three cancelled. These include two flights of Alliance Air, five of Air Sahara, 15 of Air Deccan, seven of Kingfisher, four of SpiceJet and one of GoAir. Only Indian Airlines (now called Indian) has escaped the action.

During fog period (5-10 a.m. and 8-12 p.m.) the total departures have come down from 127 to 106 and total arrivals from 117 to 97.

The government also proposes to install the CAT II system at Amritsar, Lucknow and Jaipur airports so that they can be used as secondary airports during fog. It has authorised Jet Airways and Air Sahara to operate under low visibility conditions. Four carriers, Kingfisher, SpiceJet, Indigo and Air Deccan have also been granted initial authorisation for operating in the Category-II Instrument Landing System meant for low visibility operations, a DGCA official said.

Photojournalist assaulted

Delhi Police ACP BB Chowdhury allegedly roughed up a PTI photojournalist after smashing his camera outside the airport. Journalists and camerapersons were covering the demonstration by AAI employees when an irked police team led by Choudhary turned its anger towards mediapersons. Choudhary allegedly assaulted PTI's Kamal Singh, snatched his camera and smashed it on the ground.

VVIP movement

The government has decided not to hold ceremonial arrivals or departures before 1000 hours or after 1700 hours for the country’s VVIPs, including the president and the prime minister.

A decision to this effect was taken by the protocol department as the planes of some VVIPs had to hover in the air for a considerable time on returning from foreign trips, sources said.
(with PTI inputs)

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First Published: Dec 15, 2006 02:31 IST