21 flights diverted and 11 cancelled | 19 trains delayed and 11 cancelled | Light rainfall predicted.
The return of dense fog early morning on Monday affected more than 200 flights at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. At least 21 flights were diverted and 11 cancelled as low visibility led to the closing of Runway 29-11 for more than seven hours and of Runway 28-10 for more than three hours.
The flight of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was among those delayed due to fog. His flight was to take-off for Bhutan from Palam Technical Area around 9.30 am, but was delayed by two hours.
“The visibility remained below 50 metres on Runway 29-11 between 2.30 am and 10 am. On Runway 28-10, the visibility was low between 5 am and 8.30 am. Approaching western disturbance is likely to bring clouds and light rainfall from January 17 to 19. We expect another spell of dense fog from January 18 onwards,” Director in-charge of IGI Met department R K Jenamani said.
“Eleven flights had to be cancelled due to low visibility either in Delhi or at destination ports. 141 flights arrived at the Delhi airport during the period of low visibility and 142 others took off using the CAT-IIIB instrument landing system,” an airport official said.
Meanwhile, a Royal Dutch Airline flight (KLM 872) to Amsterdam was delayed by over 20 hours — first due to fog and then because of completion of flight duty time limitations (FDTL) of the crew. Initially, the flight was cleared for take off at 2.30 am, but returned from taxiway due to some glitch. Later, fog held up the flight as visibility dropped to less than 100 metres. After the fog lifted, the FDTL of the crew ended. The flight was rescheduled for departure at 11.45 pm on Monday, sources said.
The minimum temperature on Monday was recorded at 10.6 degree Celsius, 3 degrees above normal.
The Monday fog also led to 19 trains running behind the schedule. The Northern Railway cancelled 11 trains. “A decrease in visibility due to fog is prevailing in certain rail sections. As a result, 11