Flights hit as fog engulfs Delhi airport again (Second Lead)

Monday, January 31, 2011

NEW DELHI - A thick blanket of fog engulfed the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here Monday that caused cancellation of 10 flights and diversion of three from the national capital, an official said.

“Flight operations at IGI Airport were affected due to dense fog Monday morning. After the initial dip, general visibility has now (afternoon) improved to 800 metres,” said an official of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) that runs the airport operations.

According to him, 53 flights, including departures and arrivals, operated under low visibility procedure (LVP) used at the airport during fog.

The fog was back in the city after over a fortnight.

The visibility dropped to below 150 metres at Delhi airport and CAT (category) III B ILS (instrument landing system) was operated around 9 a.m., according to the official. The system enables the aircraft equipped with necessary instruments to rely only on them and land even in blinding fog.

“Over a dozen domestic and international flights were delayed while three flights were diverted due to thick fog over the airport,” the official further said.

The fog at the airport caught the passengers unawares as after arriving at the airport they had to wait for hours due to flight delays.

“My flight to Jaipur was scheduled for 7.30 a.m. but it was delayed for over three hours due to fog at the airport,” said Shruti Singh, a college student.

According to the railway officials, trains were, however, running on time.

Other parts of the city only had a shallow fog, and the weather office forecast has a warmer day ahead.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 8.2 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the season.

“There was mist in the morning but skies will remain clear during the day. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 20 degrees Celsius,” a Met department official said.

Delhi received light showers Sunday while the maximum and minimum temperature settled around 22.4 and 6.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.

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