Govt. allows flight movements in reduced visibility, changes rules

Written by: Nairita Das
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New Delhi, Dec.26 (ANI): The Civil Aviation Ministry today changed rules to allow flight movements in reduced visibility conditions as fog had disrupted flight operations from Delhi causing inconvenience to passengers.

Around 38 flights were cancelled and 42, including 14 international flights, were diverted due to fog, particularly in Delhi.

The Civil Aviation secretary S N A Zaidi reviewed the situations with airline officials, DIAL, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Meteorological Department.

"The ministry has taken a number of steps to ensure that during fog and low visibility period, the safety of flight operations is maintained and inconvenience to passengers is minimised," said Zaidi.

"It is further reiterated that Ministry and DGCA attach paramount importance to safety of flight operations during fog period," he added.

Zaidi further described that under the new rules, the visibility range has been brought down from 175 metres to 150 metres for operation of large aircraft and 150 metres to 125 metres for smaller planes.

This step will facilitate flight operations at a lower visibility conditions and reduce delays, he said.

No flights will be operated if the visibility is lower than 50 metres.

As per the new rules the airline would not carry out boarding of passengers till the visibility has reached 125 metres.

"At present, at least 300 aircraft are category 3B compliant and about 2100 pilots are category 3B trained. So, we have a large number of aircraft and pilots who can land during low visibility conditions upto a visibility of 50 metres," said Zaidi.

He said under the category of 3B instrument landing system, a flight can operate if the visibility is over 50 metres and those aircrafts which are not compliant with the system will land only after 10 a.m. when the visibility is good. Such aircrafts coming to Delhi will have to follow this rule.

"We've also taken a step that aircraft which are not compliant with category 3B conditions will follow a separate fog schedule," said Zaidi. (ANI)

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