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Business News/ News / India/  Delhi airport's second runway operational with CAT III to avoid fog related delays; boost passenger handling capacity
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Delhi airport's second runway operational with CAT III to avoid fog related delays; boost passenger handling capacity

The runway can be now used for safe landing during low-visibility conditions at Delhi airport, which will avoid unnecessary hassles for passengers during inclement weather

A passenger aircraft on Taxiway in heavy winter fog and chill at Terminal 3 of IGI Airport, in New Delhi (Hindustan Times)Premium
A passenger aircraft on Taxiway in heavy winter fog and chill at Terminal 3 of IGI Airport, in New Delhi (Hindustan Times)

Amid a number of flight delays during dense fog conditions in Delhi, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on Saturday equipped its second runway- Runway 10/28 with CAT III technology. The runway can be now used for safe landing during low-visibility conditions, which will avoid unnecessary hassles for passengers during inclement weather.

“The CAT III enabled Runway 10/28 at the Delhi Airport has been operationalised today. This would ensure further mitigation of weather-related congestion issues," Union Civil Aviaition Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a post on X.

With the operationalization of the second runway, the Delhi Airport now has four operational runways, which can help the airport authorities to work at their full capacity.

As per a report by news agency ANI, the development will increase the passenger handling capacity of Delhi airport to 100 million passengers per annum (MPPA). The airside capacity of the three terminals at Delhi airport is also expected to increase to 140 MPPA.

Fog-related delays

As the temperature dipped in Delhi and a dense layer of fog gripped the national capital, the air passengers faced a number of issues including flight cancellations and long delays. The airlines were forced to remain grounded due to zero-visibility conditions, making it very dangerous to run flight operations.

"In view of the prevalent fog season and adverse weather conditions, airlines may cancel, sufficiently in advance, such flights that are anticipated to be delayed or consequentially delayed on account of such conditions beyond a period of 3 hours to obviate congestion at the airport and mitigate passenger inconvenience," aviation regulator DGCA said in an advisory for the airlines.

How CAT III will change things?

Category III (CAT III) refers to a set of instrument landing capabilities for aircraft. Specifically, CAT III is used in the context of runway visibility and instrument approach systems which can help pilots land in extremely low visibility conditions like dense fog, heavy rain, or snow.

It is an advanced version of the instrument landing system (ILS) which offers pilots reliable guidance to execute precise landings in low-visibility situations. The technology avoids the risk of human error, spatial confusion, or miscalculations of landing distances.

CAT III comprises different levels which are based on height and visual range of the runway. The Delhi airport is using CAT IIIB which allows for a decision height lower than 50 feet (15 meters) and a runway visual range not less than 150 feet (50 meters).

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Published: 03 Feb 2024, 10:40 PM IST
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