Panel to make IGI zero diversion airport

With fog disrupting flight schedule, the country’s aviation regulator has now set up a committee to take steps to ensure that there is no diversions from Delhi airport due to low visibility.

The technical committee, headed by Director-General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) Joint Director General Lalit Gupta, was set up after a meeting of DGCA’s new chief Prabhat Kumar with representatives of airlines, airport operators and other stakeholders two days ago.

The 10-member panel has been asked to make Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi a “zero diversionary” airport without compromising on safety of aircraft operations. The ­committee has been asked to submit its report by March 31.

Over 300 flights have been cancelled due to fog since December 17 last year, including 119 flights on a single day late last week.

The meeting reviewed the deployment of pilots trained to operate the Instrument Landing System under Category III when the runway visibility range is around 75 metres.

The committee would include representatives of the Met department, Airports Authority of India, Delhi International Airport Limited, Air Traffic Control and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. They have been tasked with preparing a comprehensive document on low visibility operations defining duties and responsibilities of all the stakeholders.

It would also look into specific issues pertaining to international operations and the modalities to deal with passengers stranded due to fog.

Earlier, the DGCA had asked the airlines to deploy adequate number of CAT III trained pilots to operate flights to and from Delhi during fog.

The meeting took stock of the facilities airlines were providing to passengers to minimise their inconvenience, including advance information about delays or cancellations and provision of food and beverages at such times.

The DGCA had also decided to set up a cell comprising its own officials and those of all Indian carriers to deal with the fog situation.

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