Hundreds of travellers have been inconvenienced in the last week as a total of 209 flight schedules were affected between January 12 and January 18 at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. Out of this, a total of 10 flights scheduled to land in Bengaluru had to be diverted to Hyderabad or Chennai airports.
Of the 10 diverted flights, three were cargo flights belonging to Bluedart, all of which were sent to Chennai. The remaining seven were Indigo flights.
Out of the total 209 affected flight schedules, 124 flights were delayed for departure, while another 75 were delayed for arrival.
Fog was the cause of the flight schedule changes on four of the seven days, with about 50 flight schedules affected. On January 12, 15 and 16, no flight operations were modified due to fog-induced conditions.
On Friday alone, a total of 67 flights were affected, including the one BlueDart cargo flight diverted to China. Among the other 66 flights, 45 flights were delayed for departure and another 21 were delayed for arrival within a period of little over an hour due to fog.
Bengaluru typically sees fog-induced conditions between November and February. Visibility standby is withdrawn after visibility goes below the standard 2.5 km.
If things go according to plan, these fog delays may soon be avoided. The new T2 terminal of the Bengaluru will be equipped with Category-III-B Instrument Landing Systems, which allows flights to take off and land at visibilities as low as 50 metres.
At present, five Indian airports -- Chandigarh, Kolkata, Delhi, Amritsar and Jaipur -- have similar technology, which has proved to be a success.