Srinagar, Dec 10: For the fifth straight day, dense fog and poor visibility forced the cancelation of all 27 flights at Srinagar International Airport.
With this, the total number of flights cancelled due to poor visibility has crossed 116 in the last four days.
Twenty eight flights were cancelled on Monday. On Sunday, Saturday and Friday, poor visibility at the airport led to the cancellation of 26, 24 and 11 flights, respectively.
An official at Srinagar airport said there was zero visibility at the airport on Tuesday and with the result all flight operations were suspended.
“Unfortunately, all the flights got cancelled today as well. The prevailing conditions didn’t suit the operation of flights as the visibility recorded on Tuesday was zero,” he said.
Director Airport Authority of India (AAI) Santosh Dokay told The Kashmir Monitor, visibility at the runway was less than 50 meters due to the dense fog.
“At least one kilometer visibility is required for flight operation but currently we have a visibility up to 50 meters. Even zero visibility was recorded in the morning. It could lead to accidents if a plane lands or takes-off under these conditions,” he said.
What has compounded the problem is that despite upgrading Instrumental Landing System (ILS), flight operations continue to remain hit.
“We do have an ILS, which was upgraded recently and an Approach Lighting System (ALS) was also installed. The visibility range at the runway has been improved to 1000meters from two kilometers. But the kind of fog witnessed this year hasn’t been witnessed before. It is unprecedented and persists through the day,” Dokay said.
Due to frequent cancellation of flights, scores of the passengers had to return their homes on the fourth consecutive day. “Every year we have to face the situation when flights get cancelled for weeks together. Many among us have to visit outside state for medical reasons. Every time flights don’t take off,” said Aijaz Ahmad Ganie, who had to take her mother for a checkup to New Delhi.
Meteorological Department (MeT), has forecasted dense fog till Wednesday across the valley.