Fog hits flights at KIA

Fog hits flights at KIA

Fog hits flights at KIA

The season’s first fog at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) affected several early morning schedules, delaying over 100 flights  leaving thousands of passengers stranded, on Saturday.

The fog played spoilsport with the travel plans and triggered a cascading effect on several other flights.

KIA officials said the airport runway operations were halted between 4:30 am and 8 am. Due to low visibility, none of the flights could take off or land. These included several international flights bound for Frankfurt, London and West Asia.

Passengers of Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways and Qatar Airways were among the worst affected.

In all, 36 arrivals and 70 departures were affected. Normal operations resumed only after 8 am. However, this had a cascading effect on many other day-time flight schedules.

Stranded passengers were provided breakfast and other basic facilities by the airport officials in coordination with the respective airlines.

Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet were among the domestic airlines with disrupted flight schedules.

Passengers headed to Mumbai, Delhi and other destinations had to wait for over two to three hours at the lobby.

The airlines, however, maintained that they were looked after and offered regular updates on the flight timings.

Disruptions linked to fog is an annual affair at the KIA, with the weather condition getting acute between November 15 and February 15. The condition often gets worse in the early hours from 3 am to 8:30 am.

At most other airports in the country, conditions generally get worse only after late November.  KIA has a CAT-I Instrument Landing System (ILS) that is considered inefficient to deal with poor weather conditions. The runway visibility range drops, and inevitably all operations are halted.

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

Weather experts say the fog that occurs at KIA is a radiation fog forming on clear and still nights when the ground loses heat by radiation. The fog forms when the ground in turn cools the nearby air to saturation point.

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