Poor runway visibility led to cancellation of 11 afternoon flights at Srinagar Airport on Friday.
“All flights’ scheduled after 2:45 PM could not operate dueto a dense layer of fog, which prevented aircrafts from either landing ortaking-off,” Director, Airport’s Authority of India, Srinagar, Santosh Dhoketold Greater Kashmir.
Dhoke said that of 25 flights, only 14 could operate onFriday. “Flight operations were normal in the morning but runway visibilitydropped to below 600 meters in the afternoon. This is much lower than standardvisibility required for flight operations. It disrupted air traffic till end ofthe day,” said Dhoke.
He said normal flight operations were expected on Saturday asweatherman has predicted improvement in visibility. “Weather forecast fortomorrow is encouraging. We hope all flights operate smoothly,” Dhokesaid.
It may be recalled that more than 60 flights were cancelledat Srinagar Airport last month due to poor visibility. Of these, 50 flightswere cancelled on two consecutive days of 7 and 8 November due to Kashmirreceiving heavy snowfall.
An official said, “Flight operations are disrupted everywinter with visibility often dropping below 500 meters in December and January.In January this year, 98 flights were cancelled at Srinagar airport due toinclement weather.”
The Srinagar airport is under direct operational control ofthe Indian Air Force (IAF), which controls its air traffic and landing stripand also the facilities fire-fighting and crash activities, apart from theairspace. The terminal building, where the passengers check-in and check-out,and the apron area, where an aircraft is parked, are controlled by the AAI.
According to experts, poor visibility on the runway can onlybe overcome by an upgraded landing facility. “The upgraded Instrumental LandingSystem (ILS) is the only way out to overcome the repeated flight disruptions.This system ensures that during poor visibility flight can land even if thevisibility is 350 meters,” an aviation expert said.
FOGGY CONDITIONS PREVAIL IN KASHMIR
Meanwhile, foggy and cold conditions prevailed across Kashmirfor the second consecutive day on Friday. Vehicles on Srinagar roads could beseen moving with their headlights on even during day time.
Kashmir continues to reel under a cold wave for last fewdays. The weatherman has predicted that weather across Kashmir would remain dryon Saturday.
SRINAGAR-JAMMU HIGHWAY RE-OPENS
After remaining closed for almost 24 hours due to shootingstones, 270 kilometer Srinagar-Jammu National Highway will be re-opened fortraffic on Saturday.
“The highway was closed for traffic on Friday, due tomultiple incidents of shooting stones,” senior Traffic Police officials toldthis newspaper.
They said that light motor vehicles from both the sideswould be allowed to move on the highway on Saturday. Heavy motor vehiclesincluding trucks will be allowed from Srinagar to Jammu only, officials added.