Passengers travelling to or from Delhi in the next few days by air should consider making adjustments to their schedules as flights are expected to be delayed due to fog covering the National Capital and other areas of North India. Runway visibility at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi has dropped to 150 meters with almost zero visibility in the early hours of the morning on Monday.
"Today, first time Palam Airport Visibility has gone down to zero metres due to dense fog. At 06:30 hours, both runway 28 & 29 are 150 metres. Chances of flight delay," tweets Mahesh Palawat, an expert at Skymet Weather, a private forecasting agency.
At 08:30 hours, #visibility of runway 28 and 29 at #Palam #airport reduced further. It is now 100 meters only. Should be minimum 400 meters for flights to take off. #DelhiFog #DelhiAirportVisibility #PalamFlightDelay@SkymetWeather- Mahesh Palawat (@Mpalawat) December 7, 2020
Till now, the flights have not been significantly impacted by the fog with the exception of a few delays to certain flights. Delhi Airports' official website states that no flight cancellations due to fog were reported on Monday morning. Delhi airport is equipped with the technology to handle landings in such conditions.
Delhi airport has the most advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS) in the country which allows aeroplanes to land with visibility as low as 50 meters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the air travel restrictions imposed because of it, the number of international as well as domestic flights has been greatly reduced. This has ensured that delays and flight cancellations can be managed well by the airport authorities, according to The Times of India.
However, it is expected there would still be delays during day-time as the fog has covered areas of North India and airports other than the one in Delhi don't have the advanced technology required to handle landings in thick fog.
It is not always Delhi airport that is the cause of flight delays, weather issues at other airports in the region can also lead to several delays, said sources according to the daily.