Ministry of Civil Aviation
azadi ka amrit mahotsav g20-india-2023

Consultative Committee of Ministry of Civil Aviation meets

Pro-active approach led to significant decline in flight cancellations and flight diversions during the fog period

Posted On: 13 OCT 2023 2:42PM by PIB Delhi

The Consultative Committee of Ministry of Civil Aviation met in New Delhi today.  The subject of discussion was ‘Fog Planning’.  The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.  It was attended by Minister of State of Civil Aviation General (Retd.)  Dr. V.K. Singh, Hon’ble Members of Parliament, and officers from Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, Airports Authority of India and other related organisations.

Introducing the subject, Shri Scindia said that pro-active approach by the Ministry, DGCA and AAI has led to significant decline in flight cancellations and flight diversions during the fog period despite an increase of 22% in numbers of aircraft movements in the past two years.  In 2021-22, 124 flights were cancelled out of 136374 total aircraft movements, which amounted to 0.09%, rate of cancellations.  The figure declined to 86 cancellations for 166927 total aircraft movements in 2022-23, leading to 0.05% rate of cancellations.  Similarly, in 2021-22, 58 flight diversions took place from the 8 main fog prone airports which declined to 14 in 2022-23.

The Minister said that fog is a weather phenomenon generally confined to a few thousand feet above ground level contributing to poor visibility below 1000 meter, mostly but not limited to northern parts of India in the winter season and affects flight operations.  During fog conditions, visibility deteriorates due to presence of water droplets and dust in the layer of air close to the ground.  The period between 10th December and 10th February each year is usually considered as a fog period.

Shri Scindia said that every year DGCA undertakes an exercise to ensure that airlines and aerodrome operators take actions to prepare themselves for fog conditions well in advance so that disruptions and services in terms of flight cancellations and diversions are minimized.  Towards this end, DGCA engages with all stake-holders to check on the readiness of the required support systems on ground and the operators in terms of aircraft availability and trained crew for operations in CAT II/III conditions.  He said that as on date, 4804 flight crew qualified for CAT II/III are available with various airlines including 2979 Captains and 1825 Co-pilots.   He informed that there are 6 airports that have CAT III landing facility and the flights are able to land with low runway visual range.  He said that CAT I capability will be enabled in 8 airports while facilities will be upgraded from CAT I to CAT II in 4 airports.

The Minister said that during the fog period airlines are directed to bring changes in their flight schedules in order to eliminate non CAT II/CAT III compliant aircraft from operation.  The airlines are also directed to ensure scheduling of CAT II/CAT III qualified crew suitably. 

Hon’ble Members of Parliament congratulated the Ministry for its initiatives to prepare for fog conditions well in advance so that disruptions in services are minimized.  They also made certain valuable suggestions in this regard.



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