New Delhi: Delhi and its adjoining areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) woke up to a dense veil of fog this morning, significantly impacting visibility in various areas. The atmospheric condition has led to disruptions in both air and rail travel, causing inconvenience for passengers.
Delhi Airport, one of the busiest aviation hubs in the country, experienced the immediate consequences of the foggy weather. According to flight tracker website flightradar24 , over 100 flights have been delayed due to adverse weather conditions. The situation has prompted authorities to implement Low Visibility Procedures at Delhi Airport.
“Low Visibility Procedures are in progress at Delhi Airport. All flight operations are presently normal. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information,” the Delhi airport said in a statement at 6:50 am.
Due to the prevailing conditions, the Delhi airport said passengers are advised that flights not equipped for low-visibility landings (Category III compliant) may experience delays or diversions.
“While landing and takeoffs continue at Delhi Airport, flights that are not CAT III compliant may get affected. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted,” it said.
The minimum temperature in the national capital was recorded at 4.8 degrees Celsius, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The impact of the fog has not been limited to air travel alone. Passengers at New Delhi Railway Station faced difficulties as at least 30 trains delayed attributed to the cold wave and fog.
Over the past two days, the IGI Airport in Delhi has witnessed scenes of chaos as stranded passengers faced prolonged delays. Shouts and slogans echoed through the terminals as frustrated travelers expressed their discontent. In response, airport personnel and ground staff worked tirelessly to manage the situation and assist the affected passengers.
After hundreds of flights arriving at and departing from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport faced severe delays due to intense fog over the last two days, Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia yesterday explained what steps have been taken to avoid similar circumstances in the future.
To address the challenges posed by severe weather conditions, Mr Scindia outlined the steps taken and plans for future:
1. Operationalisation of CAT III-Enabled 4th Runway: Delhi Airport has been directed to expedite the operationalization of the CAT III-enabled 4th runway, supplementing the existing CAT III runway. The goal is to meet the approval standards set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
2. Issuance of SOP for Airlines: The DGCA will soon release a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) aimed at enhancing communication and passenger facilitation for airlines. This measure aims to minimize passenger discomfort caused by flight cancellations and delays attributed to adverse weather conditions.
In response to the disruptions caused by dense fog, the regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued comprehensive guidelines to manage chaotic situations and ensure better passenger experiences during adverse weather conditions.
The DGCA’s standard operating procedure (SOP) addresses the challenges posed by fog-related delays, cancellations, and denied boarding. One key directive in the SOP highlights that airlines have the authority to cancel flights that are anticipated to be delayed or “consequentially delayed” beyond three hours.
This strategic measure aims to minimize inconveniences for passengers and streamline the operational response to fog-induced disruptions.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)