Thick fog blankets Delhi, causing chaos in air and train travel
Delhi woke up to a thick layer of fog on Monday morning, causing major disruptions in air and train travel. An Orange Alert has been issued for the next 3-4 days, indicating that the foggy conditions are expected to persist.
The fog has led to numerous flight diversions at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, leaving passengers stranded and frustrated. The blame game has already begun, with airlines pointing fingers at the Delhi Airport over the lack of a CAT III B compliant runway, which is specifically designed to handle low visibility conditions.
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) claims that 58 flights were diverted between December 24 and 28, with 50 of them being due to captains not being trained for low visibility operations. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is currently investigating this claim and is determined to find the responsible party.
In response to the allegations, both Air India and SpiceJet have stated that they adhere to DGCA guidelines and only operate within the designated fog time frame and visibility limits. However, pilots are suggesting that the warmer winter this year may have led to airlines not ensuring compliance with having aircraft and crew trained for low visibility conditions.
It is worth noting that the Indira Gandhi International Airport has two CAT III B compliant runways. However, one of them has been deferred due to operational issues. The re-carpeting of this runway has been completed and is now awaiting DGCA inspection and certification. The airport authorities stress that getting this second runway operational is crucial in order to avoid further disruptions this winter.
As the foggy conditions persist, Delhiites are advised to stay updated with travel alerts and take necessary precautions while venturing out. Passengers are also urged to check with their airlines for any schedule changes or cancellations due to the ongoing fog-related issues.