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Pesky fog persists but no delays

A sudden burst of rain and strong winds caused poor visibility, preventing flights from landing at the Delhi airport, reports Sidhartha Roy.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 03:10 IST

Flights took off on schedule at the Delhi airport on Thursday with no fog interruptions after several in-coming flights were delayed for hours or diverted the night before due to heavy mist.

Several passengers had a tough time on Wednesday.

Only one runway was operational after 11 pm There was heavy traffic congestion because of the safeguards taken by the airport authorities. Around 35 flights were delayed. Many flights had to be diverted to places like Jaipur and Lucknow, an airport official said.

“Mostly international flights were delayed and those that had to be diverted included a Heathrow-Delhi-Mumbai flight of Air India, three Jet Airways flights, an Air Deccan flight and an Indian flight,” said an airport official. “The fog started setting in at 7.30 pm on Wednesday. “The visibility was so low on Wednesday that the parallel use of runway had to stopped,” said RK Jenamani, Director of Indian Meteorological Department (IGIA unit).

Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) were used to tackle the crisis from 7.30 am to 9.15 am as Runway Visual Range (RVR) went down to 1,200 metres. “Thirty-four flights were cleared during this time,” said an airport official. But here is the bad part. There will be some problem on Friday, according to the Met Department. “The situation is not likely to improve as the moisture level is high in the atmosphere,” Jenamani said..

Emergency landing

A Bangalore-bound flight of the Indian Airlines (IC 506) had to make emergency landing at the Delhi airport on Wednesday following a technical problem.

The Airbus A-320, carrying 139 passengers, landed at the airport at 11.51 am just a few minutes after taking off from the airport. The aircraft was then taken to a separate bay for checking and the passengers were transferred to another Indian Airlines aircraft. “The pilot suspected that the hydraulic system developed a snag and decided to return to the base as a precautionary measure,” an Indian Airlines spokesman said.

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First Published: Dec 22, 2006 03:10 IST