Fog disrupts 81 flights at KIA; over 500 this season

The season of fogs continued to play havoc with air passengers at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Tuesday, disrupting 81 flights. The disruptions have been particularly severe this season, with over 500 flights affected over the past month. 

Early on Tuesday morning, the entire airport and airfield were enveloped by a thick cover of fog, delaying the departure of 67 flights. The arrival of nine flights was also delayed. 

Five incoming flights were diverted to other cities. These included an international British Airways flight that was asked to head towards Hyderabad. Two other IndiGo flights were also diverted to the Telangana capital. Two BlueDart cargo flights were flown to Chennai. 

When the visibility dropped below 2,500 metres, a Visibility Standby was declared at 2.51 am, which was withdrawn only at 10.35 am. Airfield operations were suspended from 5.05 am to 6.15 am, according to the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). 

Hundreds of passengers jostled for space inside the KIA’s existing Terminal-1, as queues got longer with more delays. Unaware of the BIAL’s plan for a second runway designed to aid landings at even low visibility, a frustrated traveller, Priya Varadarajan, wondered: “Is there no innovation that allows smooth landing and take-off of aircrafts during fog?! Insane delay of flights (sic).” 

The delays had a cascading effect on other flights. Raviraj Gohil, an IndiGo passenger, vent out his frustration on social media. He tweeted: “Time we were supposed to be half-way, still enjoying the land. Departure time 11.20 Current time 12.45. Reason for delay. No idea (sic).” 

IndiGo apologised for the trouble. “It’s just been a tough day due to bad weather at Bengaluru airport. Your flight is waiting in its sequence to depart.” To another tweet, the airline stated: “Our operations are affected due to bad weather at Bengaluru airport which has a cascading effect on our operations. Hope that you’ll understand certain factors are beyond our control (sic).” 

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