Dense fog has caused disruption in flight services in most parts of North India, including delay in landing and flights at Delhi airport, according to sources.
New Delhi: Due to dense fog in Delhi on Tuesday, more than 100 flights have been delayed at Indira Gandhi Airport. During this, two flights coming to Delhi have been diverted to Jaipur due to low visibility. Dense fog reduced visibility to less than 200 meters in Delhi on Tuesday morning, affecting air traffic.
According to airport officials, SpiceJet flights were diverted at 11:45 pm and Indigo at 2:15 am to Jaipur airport. Officials said that this was the first flight diversion of this season at Delhi airport.
According to an airport official, in both the cases the pilots were not CAT-III B compliant, due to which they were not allowed to land at the airport. During this time the visibility at the airport was up to 50 metres, so ATC directed both the flights to the nearest airport Jaipur.
Low Visibility Procedure (LVP) has been started for easy landing of flights at Delhi Airport in winter. Meanwhile CAT-I procedure is on. This is the normal way to guide the pilot during landing.
This procedure is implemented when the visibility is up to 800 meters. CAT-II procedure is invoked when visibility reaches 550. Similarly when visibility is between 175 to 300 then CAT-III B is applicable. Pilots who qualify for CAT-III B are also allowed to land in 50 meter visibility. Both the pilots of the two flights that were diverted to Jaipur were not CAT-III B qualified.
The official said that flights are allowed to land even if the visibility is up to 50 metres, but a flight is allowed to take off only when the runway visibility range (RVR) is up to 125 metres. Due to this some flights get delayed.
The Meteorological Department official said that visibility was worst from 3:30 pm to 7:30 am. During this the visibility remained around 50 meters. And by 7:30 it increased to 100 metres. During these four hours the visibility at both Palam and Safdarjung was near 50 meters and CAT-III B procedure was in force. Two flights were diverted to Jaipur airport as both the pilots were not skilled for CAT-III B status.