‘IGI world’s second worst for delays’

In a twin shame,India tops the chart in late-arrival of flights while the city’s IGI Airport has got the dubious distinction of ranking second from the bottom in the list of flight arrivals,according to the Forbes magazine.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published:January 10, 2009 12:17 am

In a twin shame,India tops the chart in late-arrival of flights while the city’s IGI Airport has got the dubious distinction of ranking second from the bottom in the list of flight arrivals,according to the Forbes magazine.

The IGI was beaten by a whisker by the Mumbai international airport,where,the magazine says,only 50 per cent flights arrived on time last year.

According to the latest report on the Forbes website,IGI recorded a measly 51 per cent on-time arrival of flights in 2008. “India takes the prize as the country with most frequent late arrivals,” the magazine says. “For departures,European airports — notably those in Italy — make up bulk of the worst,though Beijing Airport grabs the top spot.”

Officials at IGI Airport reasoned that the ongoing construction work,air traffic congestion,and extreme weather conditions like the recent fog phenomenon have led to the arrival woes. The figures have been taken from FlightStats,a service that tracks historical and real-time flight information.

Officials at the city airport said the much-hyped third runway opened in October 2008,expected to handle air traffic in low-visibility conditions and provide relief from air traffic congestion,has failed to live up to expectations. The runway,in fact,was not even used during the successive fog days this season,though it has the latest Instrument Landing system (ILS) that makes it possible for flights to land in zero-visibility conditions.

Reason: besides technical problems experienced by the new runway,air traffic controllers and pilots do not prefer using the new runway since it is far from the terminal buildings and experiences more dense fog due to open areas surrounding it.

Delhi International Airport Limited,the GMR-led consortium responsible for the operation and maintenance of the airport,could not be contacted for comments.

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