With the winter setting in and a blanket of fog having already engulfed the national capital, the Union civil aviation ministry has asked the authorities concerned to take all necessary steps in advance to meet eventualities arising out of fog during the winter season, especially at the airports in North India.
In its report to the aviation ministry, the meteorological department has said the period of fog during 2012-13 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi will be from December 10 to February 10.
The ministry has stressed on the fact that authorities should ensure that flight cancellations should be minimal and passengers should not be put through unnecessary inconvenience.
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has asked the authorities to ensure that the passengers should be provided timely information, food and beverages, etc in cases of flight delays. He also advised Airports Authority of India (AAI) and other authorities concerned to make best use of the available technology for smooth navigation and landing of aircraft during fog, the ministry said in a press statement.
Following instructions from the minister, Director General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday convened a meeting of all stakeholders to review the fog preparedness at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and other north Indian airports. The meeting was attended by representatives of AAI, scheduled domestic airlines, foreign carriers, DIAL, Indian Meteorological Department and CISF.
The DIAL representative made a presentation on the preparations made by them to meet the contingency during fog period. The AAI has also informed that they have issued instructions to alternate airports near Delhi to prepare for fog situation, the ministry said.
According to the aviation ministry, airlines have been advised to ensure that adequate number of CAT III trained pilots are made available to operate flights to/from Delhi during fog. They should reschedule the flights of non-CAT-III compliant aircraft (ATRs, Q400, CRJs) during the fog period. The ministry has also ordered that all construction work should be stopped near the operational area at IGI Airport.