Dense fog on Monday returned to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, badly affecting the schedule of over 40 flights, including diversions of eight to other cities.
Flight operations at the airport came to a standstill for around one-and-half hours, between 5 AM and 6.30 AM, as the runway visibility was less than 50 metres on both the runways, main (28/10) and third (29/11), airport sources said.
Eight flights coming to Delhi were diverted to Jaipur, Nagpur and Mumbai between 4 AM and 6 AM, when the runway visibility was less than 50 metres, which is the minimum required visibility for a flight to land using the most advanced Category III B of the instrument landing system.
The fog started to descend at the airport around 8 PM last night but it became dense from 11.30 PM.
The general visibility and the runway visibility worsened after 2.30 AM when it reduced to less than 50 metres.
A Royal Dutch Airline flight (KLM 872) to Amsterdam was delayed by over eight hours due to fog and subsequent completion of flight duty time limitations (FDTL) of the crew.
The flight took off at 2.30 AM but had to return due to some technical reasons. In the meantime fog enveloped the airport and the visibility dropped to less than 100 metres, and flight was held up.
When visibility rose above the permissible limit, the FDTL of the crew ended and the flight was rescheduled for departure at 11.45 am, sources said, adding passengers have been accommodated in the hotels.