Dense fog disrupts flight services in Indian capital

15:28, December 26, 2010      

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With visibility dropping to near zero, dense fog Sunday completely enveloped the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Indian capital, said civil aviation officials.

The general visibility at the main and the new runways was less than 50 meters. The runway visibility was below 125 meters.

The dense blanket of fog sent flight operations totally haywire.

Delays, diversions and cancellations of around 75 domestic and international flights were reported by the airport sources.

As many as 15 domestic flights from Delhi were canceled and 12 international rescheduled.

About 17 domestic and two international flights scheduled to arrive at the national capital were diverted to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow due to fog.

Also seven international flights coming to Delhi in the wee hours Sunday were delayed by up to three to four hours.

Due to sudden and dense fog, many private airlines canceled their flights to Leh, Amritsar, Patna, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Kullu, Mumbai, Goa and Srinagar.

Air India had to also reschedule its flights to New York, Chicago and Toronto after visibility dropped below the accepted limit.

"The situation is likely to improve Sunday when the dense fog may start to lift slowly," the Meterological Department said here in a statement.

The Indira Gandhi International Airport, was shut for nearly an hour early in the morning.

Fog is common in northern India in winter time, with the Indian capital having entered its coldest season with minimum temperature staying around six degrees Celsius in the night and early morning.

Such kind of bad weather will not end until the beginning of February, keeping on alert about security of flights local aviation authorities and both domestic and international air companies using the airports here.

Source: Xinhua
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