Monday, January 26, 2009

Fog delays flights at Devanahalli

Fog delays flights at Devanahalli

Special Correspondent

Hundreds of passengers put to inconvenience

Flights were delayed by at least 30 minutes

Foggy conditions expected till February 15 at the BIA

CHICKBALLAPUR: Hundreds of passengers were put to inconvenience as over a dozen flights were delayed at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli, near here, on Sunday morning because of heavy fog.

Flights, domestic as well as international, could not take-off or land on time because of poor runway visibility between 6 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. The flights were delayed by at least 30 minutes, sources in the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) told The Hindu.
Regular feature

Flight delay due to fog has become almost a regular feature at the BIA since November. On an average six flights are delayed in the morning on those days when there is fog. At the BIA, fog is anticipated from November 15 to February 15, between 3 a.m. and 8.30 a.m., the sources said.

The fog most likely to occur at BIA is known as “radiation fog,” which forms on clear, still nights when the ground loses heat by radiation, and cools. The ground, in turn, cools the nearby air to saturation point, resulting in fog formation.

The period from December 2 to February 15 is considered as bad condition for flight departures and arrivals at airports across the country.

Incidentally, unlike other major airports in the country, BIA has a CAT-I Instrument Landing System (ILS) that is “not efficient” in bad weather when the runway visibility range (RVR) drops. Some major airports in the country have upgraded to CAT-II and even CAT-III ILS to overcome the fog problem.

During an interaction with The Hindu recently, Chief Operating Officer of the BIAL Marcel Hungerbuehler said they would switch over to CAT-2 when the necessity arises in future.

As fog problem at BIA was limited for a few days in a year it was not wise to spend a few millions on CAT-II ILS, opined BIAL Chief Executive Officer Albert Brunner.

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