As dense smog hampered visibility at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday morning, flight operations suffered a hit. Over 50 flights that were scheduled to depart from the city early in the morning were delayed as two of the three runways were rendered inoperable, leaving airport officials with just one airstrip to handle as many as 45 incoming and outgoing flights every hour.
While an airport official said that “almost all flights leaving Delhi were delayed”, the IMD said that runway visibility between 7 am and 8 am was less than 200 metres and improved only around 11 am.
The airport had already curtailed the total number of flights because of the maintenance work planned on Runway 11/29, and airlines had cancelled many flights between November 7 and November 9.
Meanwhile, with the air quality in Delhi plunging with each passing day, the CISF on Tuesday ordered issuance of over 9,000 face masks for its personnel deployed to guard the IGI Airport, the Delhi Metro and other government establishments and installations.
A senior officer working with the paramilitary force said CISF Director General O P Singh has ordered the issuance of the masks so that the men and women of the force who work in the open can better combat the severe toxic smog. “While 2,000 protective face masks are being issued immediately, 7,000 more will be sent to all the units in Delhi in the next few hours,” the officer said.
The CISF had undertaken a similar measure last November as well when smog had engulfed Delhi.