Fog is one of the biggest contributing factors for the delay and cancelling of flights in India during winters. But to fight against it at the nation's capital, Delhi Airport is getting a CAT III B-compliant runway. For the unaware, CAT III B-compliance means flights can land when the visibility on the runway is up to 50 metres. Usually, minimum visibility required to land flights in a CAT I compliant runway is 550 metres. But with upgrading to CAT III B-compliant runway, the airport will be able to operate flights in foggy and low visibility conditions as well.
Delhi Airport to Get CAT III B-Compliant Runways
The Delhi airport utilises an Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) cell whenever visibility gets low at the airport due to fog. There are three runways at the airport, and all of them are constructed with a landing system which will allow CAT III B operations to take place.
The Delhi International Airport Limited said that due to COVID-19, only two runways are operational at the moment. The runway of Terminal 3 is handling 18 flights every hour followed by the Terminal 2 which handles 9 flights every hour.
Since more number of flights are flying from the time the government allowed airlines to operate up to 80% of their pre-COVID capacity, smooth and safe operations must be ensured during winters. The CAT III B-runways won’t just help with the timely operations, but they will also ensure that flying becomes safer during foggy conditions.
It is worth noting that, it is not just the Delhi airport which is upgrading its runways, but Bengaluru airport is going in the same direction as well. One runway at the Bangalore airport is being upgraded to meet the CAT III B certification so that flights can land safely during foggy conditions.
International flights remain suspended, and there is no indication from the government on when it will resume. However, things for the domestic aviation industry are picking up faster than what people anticipated.