B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3872 times:
The schedules on the website are inaccurate.
The Delhi fog shuttles operate on a flexible rather than a fixed schedule. With only a single 777 in place during December, it will be dedicated to the new LHR operations and will only see Delhi for CAT-III training when conditions dictate.
Fog shuttles will be operated by a mix of 747 classics, 747-400s and the occasional 777 on days with no Heathrow flights scheduled. You may even see an A310 substitution on days when traffic is light and crews are available. The flight is blocked for domestic traffic sale, so 100% of the traffic will be in bonded international transit and hence with easy to predict loads ahead of time.
Airish From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 259 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3591 times:
Mainly North India suffers from bad fog from mid December and finishes some time between late January and mid February.
So as a result flights get delayed I remember taking off from BOM in early January this year and seeing a variety of planes that diverted from DEL parked.
So as this can lead to major delays AI and some other airlines reschedule there flights. AI’s flights that usually stop in DEL in the night either go directly to BOM and avoid the fog or are rescheduled. So as a result AI runs a flight that operates from BOM to DEL and from DEL to BOM. This flight is numbered AI3112 from BOM and AI3111 from DEL these are know as fog flights. The fog flights leave at BOM at 1130am and DEL at 1800pm. The passengers are then put in hotels in BOM for the night until there flights leave in the morning.
At these times there are supposed to be no fog but sometimes even at these times fog can be a problem. I remember when my flights was supposed to take off from DEL the crew were worried about the fog being a problem.
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B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3559 times:
This is a report I prepared for a client last year about the fog, but it still has relevance today.
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL/VIDP) is located at 28°33' 59" North, 77°6' 11" East at a field elevation of 776 feet above sea level. The airport services the metropolitan area of the city of New Delhi (pop. 13,780,000) and is physically located on the outskirts of the nearby town of Gurgaon, Haryana.
The airport is the second busiest in India and serves as the primary international gateway to North India with service from 38 international carriers in addition to flag carrier Air India. It also serves as a hub for domestic carriers Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara. The airport averages 237 daily scheduled commercial movements with daily averages of 23,285 passengers and 667.9 tons of cargo.
The geographical location of Delhi unfortunately is unkind to meteorological conditions at the airport. During the coldest time of year from mid-December to mid-February, the cold dry air coming off the nearby Rajasthan desert tends to drop atmospheric temperatures closer to the dew point temperature. As a result, radiation fog tends to form as the mercury falls during the late evening hours. The fog is exacerbated because of the high levels of ambient pollution from the urban area. The fog usually burns out as the sun rises and temperatures increase during the morning hours.
The primary runway at DEL is runway 10/28 which is 12,500 feet long. Prior to 2001, the runway was equipped with ILS CAT II systems which proved inadequate for operations during severe fog conditions. During the 2000-2001 winter season, conditions below CAT II minima (DH 30m, RVR 350m) existed on 53 separate days. As a result, airlines were forced to divert in excess of 200 inbound commercial flights to alternate airports primarily Mumbai (BOM/VABB), Lucknow (LKO/VILK) and Ahmedabad (AMD/VAAH) located 613nm, 222nm and 408nm respectively from DEL. Airlines were also forced to cancel or reschedule in excess of 500 additional flights.
Following public outcry and pressure from tenant airlines, the Airport Authority of India (AAI), operators of the airport, made a decision to upgrade avionics at the airport to CAT III-A standards for the 2001-2002 winter season. This involved installation of an ASDE ground radar system, centerline lighting systems and RVR equipment along runway 10/28. Accordingly, the runway 28 instrument approach was certified to ICAO CAT III-A standards by the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in December 2001. However, delays with the training of equipment operators to the relevant standards forced AAI to delay the official introduction of CAT III-A capabilities until the 2002-2003 winter season.
Unfortunately during the 2002-2003 winter season, fog of unprecedented severity was experienced. Conditions below CAT III-A minima (DH zero, RVR 200m) existed on 36 separate days, again causing disruptions to scheduled operations. Nonetheless, a total of 58 movements by 16 different operators were accomplished under CAT III-A conditions during the season, primarily by Air India’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
Whereas Air India has trained their entire cadre of Boeing 747-400 pilots to CAT III-A standards, the incumbent domestic airlines have not followed suit. Indian Airlines currently has only 12 out of almost 400 pilots certified for CAT III-A operations on their Airbus 320 aircraft, with an additional 23 expected to complete training by December 2003. Air Sahara and Jet Airways each have zero pilots appropriately certified.
For the 2003-2004 winter season, a number of international carriers have taken the drastic step of rescheduling their operations to DEL to avoid the risk of fog delays, despite the disruption to aircraft rotations and hub scheduling that this involves. British Airways will reschedule their daily Boeing 747-400 flight from London Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) for a 1030LT arrival and 1230LT departure between 15-Dec-03 and 8-Feb-04 instead of the regularly scheduled 0125LT arrival and 0325LT departure. Cathay Pacific Airways will reschedule their Airbus 330-300 flight from Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH) for a 1320LT arrival and 1435LT departure instead of the regular 0155LT arrival and 0720LT departure. Both carriers made this decision even though the new schedules will cause Delhi passengers to misconnect with their respective hub banks of North American flights that account for a significant chunk of Delhi-origin traffic. Other carriers including Austrian, Thai Airways International, Singapore Airlines and Asiana Airlines have also rescheduled their flights by 2 hours or more during the December 2003 to February 2004 period to avoid the 2300LT to 0700LT period where the risk of fog is greatest.
Some major operators to DEL including Air Canada, KLM, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air France have not made any significant schedule changes yet, but will be monitoring the meteorological conditions closely and examining the need to possibly reschedule their operations at a later time. If forecasts warrant, Air India, the largest international operator at DEL, will implement its annual fog management plan of running Boeing 747 “shuttle service” for DEL passengers to/from the primary hub in BOM and operating all scheduled DEL-origin flights nonstop from BOM instead.
MadViking From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3523 times:
Sean, excellent article! Calcutta also experiences a similar situation. I remember many times in December and January when SAS was flying DC8s between Karachi and Calcutta, the flight would leave KHI with enough fuel so that if Calcutta was fogged in SK975 would return to KHI and go back to CPH!
HAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31792 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3463 times:
End of December to Mid February is Hell time for us at Mumbai,due to FOG at Delhi.The visibility only improves after 1100 hrs on a Fog hit night.& Visibility drops from 0100 hrs onwards,unless its more severe.
At Mumbai there is a problem of Parking bays,due diversons & things get crazy.
Hopefully this year is better,But Im being optimistic.