New Delhi: Dense fog played spoilsport for the fliers here on New Year day as it disrupted operations at Indira Gandhi International airport, affecting over 100 flights.
About 60 flights were delayed, 38 cancelled — either due to poor weather at destination or due to operational reasons, while four international flights had to be diverted to Jaipur and Mumbai after visibility dropped to less 50 metres, an airport official said.
According to Met department, the airport may witness dense fog tomorrow morning too. All the four diverted aircraft were of Air India and coming from Muscat, Bahrain, Dubai and Frankfurt.
Air India's Muscat-Delhi flight (AI974), which was scheduled to arrive at around 3.30 AM and Bahrain-Delhi(AI940) scheduled to arrive at 5.20 AM were diverted to Jaipur. AI flight 996 from Dubai and 120 from Frankfurt were diverted to Mumbai after visibility dropped below 50 metres, which is minimum for an aircraft to land using CAT-IIIB instrument landing system.
Fog started to descend around 10.30 PM last night. Around 2.30 AM, the general visibility and runway visibility dropped to less than 50 metres on the third runway while it was around 200 metres on the main runway forcing the authorities to implement low visibility procedures.
A total of 34 flights operated CAT-I, 11 with CAT-II and 35 with CAT-III ILS while 111 departed during the LVP period which started from 1:48 AM and terminated at 11 AM.
Though the main runway was in operation, there was not much affect on the flight operations barring delay in schedule of some flights. Flight operations were also disrupted yesterday due to which schedule of around 60 flights were affected.
Last year, airport witnessed a clear sky and sun shone brightly on the New Year day. MeT department said that on the intervening night of December 31 and Januray 1 airport had very dense (CAT-III) fog with runway visual range hovering between 150 and 225 metres between 1:30 AM and 9:30 AM at main runway (28/10)
While third runway (29/11) had CAT-IIIB fog with RVR below 50 to 150 metres between 1:30 AM and 9: 30 AM, which forced the airport authorities to close the runway.
December last witnessed around six days of dense fog and a total of 46 hours. "Though dense fog duration is comparable with December 2011 but it is just within normal hours of quota. However, in totality, the first 22 days of December 2012 were completely fog free even without shallow fog or smog with mostly visibility above 1000 metres which is unusual," said Dr R K Jenamani, MeT incharge of Palam airport.
Train operation continued to be disrupted today due to foggy weather condition over north India with 24 Delhi-bound trains running late and 13 being cancelled . Railways cancelled services of 13 trains including Lal Qila Express, Howrah Janta Express, Toofan Abha Express and AP Express owing to the bad weather.
Train operation was delayed with many trains including Sachkhand Express, Gondwana Express, Awadh Assam Express, Bhubaneswar Rajdhani and Mahananda Express running more than 10 hours late, according to Northern Railway. 24 trains were running behind schedule due to fog, it said.