The intensity of fog reduced in the capital Wednesday, after two days of dense fog in the morning. However, flights continued to be affected, with close to 40 hit.
According to officials at IGI Airport MeT Centre, a record fog layer has been spread over the Indo-Gangetic Plains in South Asia. “The ongoing fog layer across the Indo-Gangetic plain is in the peak of its formation in terms of area. It is extending from central Pakistan across the north Indian plains towards West Bengal. It started from east UP-Bihar on December 25, covered western parts, including Delhi, from December 31 and then to Punjab and further west by January 2. It has severely affected aviation, railway and surface transport and caused colder day temperatures in these areas,” said a senior MeT official.
Poor visibility Wednesday also disrupted train services and led to 21 trains being cancelled and 59 being delayed due to fog. Thirteen trains were rescheduled, officials said.
On Wednesday, the minimum temperature was recorded as 7.4°Celsius, normal for this time of the year, while the maximum was 18.4°Celsius, a degree below normal. Dense fog is expected on Thursday with temperatures expected between 20°Celsius and 6°Celsius.
Airlines for better fog prediction
Airline officials met the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha Wednesday, seeking better fog prediction mechanism for flight operations during the winters.
Concerns were raised about additional costs involved for airlines due to diversions and cancellations, in a meeting held to review standard operating procedures (SOPs) for flight operations during the fog.
“Chaired a meeting with all aviation stakeholders to review and refine the SOPs for fog-affected days. Many constructive suggestions received: more inputs welcome,” Sinha tweeted.
Aviation sources said fog on New Year’s Eve, which affected close to 300 flights, was unforeseen and airlines could not deploy pilots trained to operate flights in low visibility. The IGI Airport has advanced the CAT III B technology, which helps airplanes land in low visibility.