Flight operations at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport resumed after eight hours of delay on Saturday due to dense fog and a cable fault in the sophisticated electronic landing system, which aids take off and landing in foggy conditions.
The flights started taking off and landing from around 10.30 am. Four morning flights were cancelled and at least 13 international ones, scheduled to land in the wee hours, were diverted to various places including Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, airport sources said.
No flights could take off or land since 2 am, when runway visibility dropped to 100 m and general visibility to less 50 m. Nineteen domestic flights in the morning were rescheduled.
Also glitch in the cables connected to the instrument that measures and provides realtime runway visibility data to the Air Traffic Control tower, forced the ATC officials to suspend the flight operations.
Though Delhi has two runways equipped with CAT-III B instrument landing system that allows an aircraft to land or take off when the runway visibility is less than 100 m, none could be used, as the instrument located on Dwarka side could not provide information to the ATC.
Passengers who had early fights remained in a state of confusion.
"I had an early morning flight to Mumbai. I left home at around 5 am. Though there was fog, I thought it will not affect as Delhi airport is equipped to face it," said Amit Kumar, a passenger of Jet Airways fight to Mumbai.Visibility started to drop from 1.45 am and remained around 150 m till 10 am, according to airport meteorological department.