Aviation Ministry issues instructions to airlines during fog

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New Delhi, Nov 5(UNI) In a move aimed at making the journey of air travellers in fog conditions during the upcoming winter a smooth affair, the Ministry of Civil Aviation today issued a set of guidelines to all airline operators non-compliance of which may result in cancellation of airlines flying schedules not only in this season but in the next season too.

Addressing a news conference here after two-hour deliberations with the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) as well as other departments concerned, MoCA Joint Secretary K N Srivastva said,'' The Ministry after having consultations with IMD and other authorities concerned has announced that fog conditions will prevail from December 8 to February 15 and have divided that period into three categories.'' ''The caegory one is when runway visibility is between 350-500 meters, the category two is when visibility remains between 350-500 meters and category C which too is sub-divided into two parts, that is A and B, having visibilities 200-350 m and 50-200 m respectively.

We are expecting a short period of respite in fog conditions during January. There will also be a period of 150 hours when runaway visibility would dip even lower that 50 m in which no aircraft would be able to fly,'' he informed.

He said all aircraft will have to have equipment which are those categories compliant and only categories compliant-trained pilots will be allowed to fly them, in default of which the airlines will face action ranging from cancellation of their schedules not only in the coming winter season but in the next winter too.

The IMD would also be chipping in this endeavour by providing weather bulletins to all airlines after every six hours and giving weather forecasts of the next 12 hours.

Mr Srivastava said in case of delays of flights airlines will have to ensure that all passengers are provided with food and they do not suffer any discomfort. And in case the airline, whose schedule has gone haywire due to dense fog, does not provide food and other basic facilities the Delhi International Airport(P) Limited(DIAL) would come into the scene and provide the hassled passengers with food the cost of which would ultimately be borne by the operator concerned.

He said 60 customar services staff would also be there at the international airport in the capital to attend to the travellers in case of delay of their flights and some steps have also been taken to see that the crowding problem at the airports is addressed too in that scenario. Some LCD monitors would also be installed at the airport to keep the travellers updated on the latest situation of their flights in case they get delayed.

UNI

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