NEW DELHI: Delhi and its suburbs woke up to a thick fog on day one of the new year and flight operations at the airport were suspended in the morning after visibility on the runways dropped below 50 metres. Train services too have been severely hit in Delhi and several other parts of north India.
Hundreds of travellers are stuck as the departure of all domestic and international flights from the Delhi airport has been on hold since 6 this morning. Arrivals too were affected, with only some aircraft being able to land. Departures require a visibility of at least 125 metres, while plane scan land in visibility below 50 metres if the pilots are trained in CAT IIIB, which is Category Three. 56 trains headed towards the capital are late and 20 have been rescheduled. 15 have been cancelled, the Northern Railways. No flights have been cancelled today so far. The airport termnals are packed with passengers who arrived early at the airport for their morning flights, having driven through very slow moving traffic in the capital, and are now desperately holding on to seats as they wait for flights to resume.
On Sunday, flight operations were hit by fog and low visibility between 7.30 and 11 a.m. Over 40 flights were diverted to other airports and several were cancelled. The three-hour suspension of flight operations meant that it took hours for the backlog to clear. Over 270 flights were delayed.
Many stranded passengers tweeted photos of the overcrowded domestic terminal where passengers could be seen sitting on floors and staircases.
Pollution levels in Delhi have shot up in Delhi since last night. The levels of Particulate Matter are in the “Very Poor” category, according to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).The weather department recorded temperatures between 5.6 and 8 degrees from various parts of Delhi.