Fog back to frustrate passengers, 61 flights disrupted

After a two-day break, a thick blanket of early morning fog enveloped the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) again on Thursday, disrupting 61 flights. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport terminal, frustrated that their travel plans had gone haywire.

As visibility dropped to near zero, the departure of 48 flights were delayed. So was the arrival of 10 incoming flights. Three flights, one each of BlueDart, IndiGo and GoAir were diverted to other destinations. 

Flight operations were suspended at 6.46 am and resumed only at 7.53 am. As visibility dropped below 2,500 metres, a visibility standby was declared as early as 5.10 am. It was withdrawn at 9.36 am. The runway, with only a Category-I Instrument Landing System (ILS) cannot aid pilots to safely land when visibility drops. 

Many passengers had already boarded their flights when the visibility standby was declared. They had to spend at least two hours. One of them, Jitendra Lenka tweeted, “Stuck inside the flight. All morning flights delayed due to poor visibility. Trying to sleep.”

Over 300 flights have been delayed due to fog at KIA in the last 10 days. The disruptions are likely to continue till the first week of February. 

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