Dense fog conditions are likely to hit the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) between December 23 and January 7, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.
To ensure passenger convenience and minimise flight delays, the IGIA will, for the first time, have a Delhi Airport Collaborative Decision Making (DA-CDM) system, which will display the exact time when the fog will lift so that aircraft in queue for take-off and arrival can be informed in advance. This will help solve boarding issues at the terminal, officials said.
Director-in-charge of IMD (IGIA) R K Jenamani said, “This year, dense fog conditions are likely to hit IGIA between December 23 and January 7. The fog conditions will prevail only for 15 days as opposed to 20 days last year. Flight operations will be affected during this period.”
Officials said fog will also prevail between January 13 and February 7 and between February 17 and 29. The IMD has also predicted heavy rainfall between January 16 and January 28 because of western disturbances.
The DA-CDM system, an initiative by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), will ensure collaboration between DIAL, Air Traffic Controller (ATC), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the IGIA Met department, individual airlines and the ground staff.
“The system will ensure that pilots coordinate with their representatives in the CDM cell. Airlines will be informed about prevailing weather conditions and the current positions of other aircraft. The information will be uploaded on the visual docking systems aboard each aircraft,” an airport official said.
“This will ensure better management of congestion once the fog lifts,” he said.
Officials said fog affects 99 per cent of aircraft movement between 5 and 9 am. After 9 am, the fog cover starts lifting.
“The system ensures that if at a certain time, several flights are scheduled for departure, each airline will be given a time slot for take-off. This way, each airline will know its time of departure and, accordingly, fuel its aircraft and announce boarding. Passengers will be spared inconvenience,” an airport official said.
The DIAL has increased the number of seats in Terminal 1-D by 300 for passengers whose flights are delayed due to fog.
DIAL said that this year, additional UPS systems have been placed in addition to generators to ensure full power back-up. Three additional runway visibility range procedures will be implemented on Runway 27, officials said.