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Delhi: 22 flights, delayed by fog for more than 3 hours, depart IGI airport

New Delhi: At least 22 domestic flights, which were delayed by over three hours owing to reduced visibility brought on by persistent fog, departed from the India Gandhi International Airport in the national capital on Tuesday.
Amid chaotic scenes at airports and palpable anger among fliers over regular flight delays owing to fog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Monday, issued standard operating procedures for airlines in the event of delays and cancellations due to adverse weather conditions.
The SOPs were drawn up after carriers as well as the Delhi airport faced criticism on social media over flight delays and cancellations due to the prevailing weather conditions.
Flights to Srinagar were delayed by 12 hours while those to Bhubaneswar and Patna were pushed back by 6 and 5 hours respectively. Several other flights were delayed by over three hours as well.
According to airport sources, special amenities for passengers have been introduced at all terminals of IGI in anticipation of further flight delays.
On Monday, a note issued by DGCA read that in view of the fog-induced disruptions and adverse weather conditions at various airports, including Delhi Airport, causing delays, cancellations and inconvenience to passengers; Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been mandated in public interest.
The SOPs mandate airlines to publish accurate real-time information regarding delays of their flights, which shall be published on the respective website of the airline or through advance information to affected passengers by SMS, WhatsApp and email.
They have also been advised to display updated information regarding flight delays to passengers waiting at the airports.
The SOPs also call for appropriate sensitisation of the airline staff at airports to suitably communicate with and continuously guide and inform passengers about flight delays.
"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 three hours with a view to obviate congestion at the airport and mitigate passenger inconvenience," the guidelines read.
All airlines were directed to mandatorily adhere to the SOPs with immediate effect.

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