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Fog disrupts flights for third day at Delhi; all trains running late

New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI): Dense fog once again hit operations at the IGI Airport here on Wednesday, delaying the schedule of over 40 domestic and international flights and causing inconvenience to fliers.

The runway visibility was good at night and operations were smooth but it started to deteriorate after 6:30am and take-offs were suspended as runway visibility dropped to less than 125 metres, the required minimum for the low visibility take off (LVTO), an airport official said.

Planes arriving at Delhi airport were able to land using the CAT-III B instrument landing system (ILS), but this was also stopped as the visibility at the one end of the runway went below 50 metres at around 7.30am, the official said.

With take-offs suspended since 6.30am, flights scheduled to depart after that have been put on hold, upsetting schedules of around 40 domestic and international flights.

Also, around eight flights were cancelled or were operating out of Delhi to some destinations because of operational reasons and poor weather at the destinations, airport sources said.

Delhi airport is equipped with CAT-III B ILS on two runways, which helps a CAT-III B compliant plane to land when the runway visibility is up to 50 metres.        Airport officials said, there might be a few diversions of flights on Wednesday.

Flight operations have been disrupted for past two days due to dense fog.

The fog also disrupted train movement in North India for the third consecutive day, with around 50 Delhi-bound trains, including Rajdhanis, running behind schedule.

Timings of two trains leaving from Delhi on Wednesday morning were rescheduled, a Northern Railway Spokesperson said.

Close to 50 Delhi-bound trains were running four to seven hours behind schedule because of poor visibility, the spokesperson said.

The official also said most of the trains running late were from eastern states, including Rajdhanis from Howrah, Sealdah, Bhubaneshwar and Ranchi.

All these trains were running two to four hours behind schedule and departure of these trains was likely to be rescheduled, he said.

Indian Railways has already cancelled a few trains to ensure better management of traffic movement during the foggy weather.

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