Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Travelog # 21 - Fog Attack

This seems to be recurring annual ritual in Delhi. The dense fog that envelops Delhi during this time of the year throws the air traffic out of gear. This is just not one day occurrence, but a predicted recursive incident day after day, year after year.

The fog itself is not the problem, several airports around the world have successfully overcome this kind of problem. The solution is itself is rather simple, the Airport and Planes must be equipped with CAT-IIIB Instrument Landing System and the Pilots must be trained use it.

Last year, civil aviation instructed all airlines to equip their planes with CAT-IIIB and train their Pilots. Interestingly only the Government carriers have compiled with this order with most of the private carriers turning a blind eye to the binding order.

This has led to chaotic situation in Delhi Airport which has cascaded to most of the domestic airport. My flight from Chennai (9W 831) to Delhi was delayed by over 6 hours yesterday and now I am dreading what awaits me tomorrow. I am scheduled to fly back to Chennai by 6:45 AM flight which will most likely be delayed.

I wonder why private carriers openly flout Government rules and what is even more astonishing is why would India allow such a flagrant violation which directly impact thousands of air travelers for days and weeks on at a stretch.

The bottom line is If you are taking a flight in and out of Delhi between now through January, be prepared for long delays.


  1. Use of CatIIIB may not be the only thing that stops flights landing and or taking off. Air control authorities may have some other rules for landing and taking off.

    Unless Public Convenience takes priority over government beaurcratic redtapism Indian businesses will continue to flout all canons of business including safety unless they are forced to comply. Having laws in India is one thing and having living laws is another thing.


  2. Raman
    CAT IIIB seems to the bottle neck and it is boiling down to cost related issues.

    Surprisingly, Indian Airlines is equipped with CAT IIIB and they are heavily advertising how they can land in 'fog' while others can't... I still wouldn't use them though..

  3. Ram, I was also a victim of "THE FOG" (interestingly,a 'z' grade horror flick by this name released in India , last week)...4 hour delays to my flights in and out of Delhi.

    Why cant airlines give a correct picture of when the flights can take off...I get alerts on delays AFTER I reach the airport...defeats the whole purpose, right !

  4. Arvind

    'zGrade' movie.. that's really scary..

    This issue boils down to money.. unless Govt cracks the whip.. private airlines wouldn't comply.. they will find reasons..