Fog envelopes KIA, flights diverted

Fog-linked flight delays and diversions returned to trouble air passengers at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) early Friday morning. At least two flights were diverted and eight others delayed, creating hardships for both outbound and inbound commuters.

Sources in the KIA informed that a Jetlite flight from Mumbai was diverted to Chennai, and a City-bound Air Costa plane was taken to Chennai, following poor visibility due to fog.

Three arrivals and five departures were also delayed by 30 to 40 minutes due to the problem, that surfaced after 3.35 am.

Problem could worsen
However, since Bengaluru is known for quick clearance of the fog, the rescheduling did not trigger a cascading effect, said the airport sources.

It is feared that the problem could worsen in the coming weeks since the frequency of fog-related flight delays tends to peak during the period from November 15 to February 15. Last year, as a KIA official pointed out, as many 13 days were declared as “fog” days.

Radiation fog
The fog problem tends to get worse between 3 am and 8.30 am. KIA normally gets affected by the “radiation fog,” which forms on clear, still nights when the ground looses heat by radiation and cools. The ground in turn cools the nearby air to saturation point, resulting in fog formation.

Unlike other major airports in the country, the KIA has a CAT-I Instrument Landing System (ILS) that is “not efficient” in bad weather when the runway visibility range drops.

Upgraded
Some major airports in the country have upgraded to CAT-II and even CAT-III ILS to overcome the fog problem.

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