Deploy pilots trained to fly during fog in Delhi: DGCA to airlines

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has issued a stern warning to airlines that they would be stopped from operating in and out of Delhi during foggy season if they do not deploy pilots trained to fly under such conditions.

Insisting on deployment of pilots trained in Category-III Instrument Landing System (CAT-III ILS), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has made it clear that only trained crew would be allowed to operate flights in and out of the national capital in case CAT-III weather predictions are made

by the MeT department, official sources said.

"Failing to do so, such operations of defaulting airlines will be stopped to and from Delhi during low visibility conditions," a source said, adding it was the responsibility of the airlines to get the latest weather updates and ensure that CAT-III trained cockpit crew are deployed.

At a recent meeting of all stakeholders, including airlines and airport operators, chaired by DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar, it was decided to set up a technical committee headed by DGCA Joint Director General Lalit Gupta to examine and recommend steps to make Delhi airport "zero diversionary" by the year-end.

 Deploy pilots trained to fly during fog in Delhi: DGCA to airlines

Image for representational purposes only. AP

The 10-member panel, which has been asked to submit its report by 31 March, would also prepare a manual to deal with low visibility operations, containing dos and don'ts for all stakeholders.

It would take cognisance of global practices in such situations, including the issue of evacuating passengers back to the departure lounge in case an aircraft gets stranded due to low visibility conditions, the sources said.

At the meeting, a representative of the CISF, which provides security at airports, pointed out that airlines were "not informing passengers adequately about flight delays" caused during the foggy season.

This, he is understood to have said, led to heated exchanges among stranded passengers and airline staff which, at times, caused a law and order problem at the airports. The airlines were directed by DGCA to take "adequate care of providing basic amenities of water and refreshment to passengers" during flight delays at such times. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) was also asked to open up more alternate airports where flights could be diverted during dense fog conditions.

AAI, on its part, informed the aviation regulator that a number of airports in central India could be used at night time by the airlines as alternate landing points when foggy conditions prevail, the sources said. The AAI said that airports like those at Indore and Nagpur were available for use at night, though the airlines were not currently using them as alternate airports.

The state-run airports body also pointed out that radio traffic channels at Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC), catering to conversation between ATC officers and pilots, got jammed as the cockpit crew insisted on getting the runway visual range (RVR) for all the three runways at the IGI Airport here so that they could select the runway for landing. However, it was made clear that pilots needed to know the RVRs at all the three runways, the sources said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 01:41:13 IST