Curbs on aircraft to check flight delays in Delhi

Sunday, December 26, 2010

NEW DELHI - In bid to mitigate fog-related flight disruptions at Delhi airport, the aviation regulator Sunday imposed curbs on aircraft not equipped to land in runway visibility as low as 50 metres, even as the met office predicted a foggy Monday.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Sunday said that aircraft that were not compliant with the Category (CAT) IIIB Instrument Landing System (ILS) will not be allowed to land in Delhi before 10 a.m. during low visibility conditions.

According to a Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) official, the technologically superior CAT IIIB ILS allows compliant aircraft and trained pilots to land even when the runway visibility is just 50 metres.

DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi said: “No aircraft which is non-compliant with CAT IIIB will be coming to Delhi during low visibility condition. We have taken the step that aircraft which are not compliant with the CAT IIIB will follow a separate fog schedule.”

“These aircraft will be allowed to land after 10 a.m.,” he added.

“As per the India Meteorological Department, visibility at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport is expected to remain at CAT IIIB level till 9 a.m. Monday,” said an airport official.

“All travellers are requested to leave for the airport only after re-confirming their departure time with the respective airlines,” the official added.

Delhi saw the first heavy fog of this season Saturday, resulting in a massive disruption of flight services. On Sunday too the condition remained the same, with as many as 38 flights being cancelled and 42 diverted. These included both domestic and international flights.

The services resumed by afternoon.

–Indo-Asian News Services

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