Domestic carrier Vistara today said it has secured Category-IIIB certification from aviation regulator DGCA, allowing its aircraft to operate even with a visibility of less than 50 metres.
Domestic airlines are required to deploy only CAT-III compliant planes and crew trained to fly under low visibility conditions while operating in and out of Indira Gandhi International airport (IGIA) here during fog season.
The certification will enable Vistara to safely operate under low visibility conditions due to fog or any other poor weather conditions, which is anticipated in north east and northern parts of the country typically during year-end and the beginning of the year, the airline said in a release.
At present, Delhi’s IGIA is the only CAT-IIIB compliant airport, while the Jaipur airport is also in the process of becoming one.
“Although a bad weather condition is beyond our control, we always endeavour to minimise the inconvenience faced by our customers during a flight delay or diversion arising from inclement weather. This certification will allow us to provide a seamless flying experience to our valued customers,” Vistara Chief Executive Officer Phee Teik Yeoh said.
Instrument Landing System (Category-III) is an advanced navigation aid empowering an aircraft to land under foggy conditions. While a Category-III A approach enables a plane to land with an Runway Visual Range (RVR) of 200 metres, Category-III B helps in landing with an RVR of less than 50 metres.
The fog season in north India generally sets in from the first week of December every year.
Vistara’s current fleet of 13 new A320s come with the integrated CAT IIIB auto land system, and its crew is given rigorous training, the company said in the release.
Vistara at present operates 430 flights per week from 18 domestic destinations.