Airlines gear up for fog season in city

Sidhartha Roy

New Delhi, Nov. 22 -- The dreaded fog season that haunts fliers every winter is around the corner and the Delhi airport authorities and airlines are gearing up to tackle the problem.

According to the Met department, dense fog is expected to hit Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in mid-December and continue in spells till February. The month of January would be the worst.

"We are expecting dense fog at the airport between the second and third weeks of December. January may see a severe spell of dense fog," said RK Jenamani, director-in-charge of the IGIA Met unit.

Last winter, there was slightly below normal fog at the airport with no prolonged spells of reduced visibility. The airport witnessed a total 101 hours of dense fog last winter, spread over 12 days. The normal standard for the airport is 85 hours of fog over at least 16 days.

The private airport operator, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), is going to deploy additional helpdesks and customer care executives to help passengers during fog.

Traffic marshals will be deployed to clear roads leading to the terminals get clogged due to fog.

At the airside, adequate parking bays for aircraft has been arranged and all the three runways would be made available for flight operations.

Air India, which has the largest pool of pilots - 700 - trained for Category III operations, is going to park aircraft designated for the early morning departures overnight on category III enabled parking bays.

"All IndiGo aircraft are Cat III compliant and all the pilots are adequately trained," said an IndiGo spokesman.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.