New Delhi
December 16, 2009
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines for operations of aircraft in low visibility conditions, the Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) for operation of aircraft upto to Cat-III B have been revised and intimated to all concerns including Airports Authority of India (AAI), Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the MET Department and all airline operators operating into and out of Delhi.

As per the guidelines, the MET Department of IGI Airport shall give out the information regarding deterioration of visibility to the airport operator, Air Traffic Control (ATC) as well as the airlines and other agencies. The airlines on basis of this information shall plan their departures and arrivals at IGI Airport simultaneously commence necessary facilitation processes to avoid inconvenience to their passengers. Duty Airport Terminal Managers of DIAL at all the 3 terminals shall monitor delays of arriving and departing aircraft and in coordination with airline operators take necessary steps to facilitate passengers as drawn up in Fog contingency plan.

The Low Visibility Procedures shall start from the moment the visibility value drops to 800 M and less. The MET Department at the airport shall continuously monitor the trend of visibility which shall be broadcasted and updated from time to time. All airlines shall monitor this trend through telephone or the ATIS broadcast for their planning of flight departures and passenger facilitation. ATC on receipt of visibility reports shall at the appropriate time ensure broadcasting, whenever CAT II and CAT III-A/B conditions are in vogue.

Once the low visibility commences, all the agencies at the IGI airport shall start taking respective action contained in the Low Visibility Procedure.

Proper and strict discipline shall be maintained by all the pilots, ATC and airport ‘Follow-Me’ vehicles during low visibility operations.

Airlines shall ensure that only those pilots who are adequately trained and certificated for Low Take-off Minima are rostered for operating flights during low visibility conditions from/to Delhi to ensure aircraft operation during low visibility conditions especially during CAT II and CAT III-A/B conditions. All airlines shall plan the flight as per the schedule separately filed for the fog period 10 December 2009 - 10 February 2010.

On the basis of trend forecast indicating change in visibility conditions below 800m ATC will give priority to Cat-II/III compliant flights. During the improving trend in the visibility from Cat-IIIB/Cat II, the flights certified for lower category of operation i.e. Cat III,II and I in the order, shall be given start-up on the actual reported visibility.

On improvement of visibility as reported by MET Office, the ATC shall ensure that proper traffic flow/ sequence is maintained. The Flight Operations Officers of the airlines shall also monitor the weather report being passed by ATC to the aircraft.

It would be the individual responsibility of the Airlines for revising Estimated Time of their flights in line with the visibility given by the MET Office and the availability of the pilots for operating in such situation. Change of flight plan due to commercial, operations and any other reason shall be informed to the ATC. Normally not more than 8 start-ups may be approved by ATC during the first 30 minutes immediately after the MET report on improvement of visibility to 550 meters is received. This number is flexible at the discretion depending on prevalent traffic situation.

The ATC shall sequence the departures based on the start-up request, runway in use vis-à-vis parking stand of the aircraft and also taking into consideration the routes to be flown in order to avoid congestion at taxi hold position.

The ATC shall sequence the departure of flights giving equal preference to each of the airlines who become ready for taxi out. Any queries in this regard from the airlines shall be through their flight operations office, who will be in contact with its flight crew on company channel and with ATC on landline to avoid congestion.

If any aircraft fails to push back or taxi-out within 5 minutes of receiving such clearance the ATC must be informed by the flight crew or by their Airlines who shall then re-sequence the departure time for such flights. The aircraft which open the door after obtaining start up clearance, shall also be dealt in the same manner by the ATC.

Domestic airlines may plan not more than 5 arrivals within the first 30 minutes of improvement of RVR to 550 meters and above. The same rate to be continued for the next one hour. This number is flexible at the discretion depending on prevalent traffic situation.

ATC, Delhi shall inform to outstations metro airports like Mumbai and Hyderabad about the “estimated time of touchdown”, depending on the traffic situation, on an hourly basis applicable for two hours ± 10 minutes to facilitate the airlines to plan their departure from above stations to Delhi. Present Practice of informing the pilots about alternate aerodromes and availability of parking space at alternate aerodromes shall be continued and would be made available to operations departments of domestic carriers through WSO on request.

The diverted flights to nearby stations around Delhi shall be accorded priority by Delhi ATC for return of these diverted flights to Delhi. A senior level officer from Airlines through their operational control and/ or through AOCC can request WSO, ATC, Delhi for according priority for their flights by indicating their name and designation and ‘Operational Reasons’ for the such priority, WSO shall take decision in respect of such request.

CISF, in coordination with Airport Terminal Managers shall ensure that all Security Check Points inside the Terminal Building are manned and all associated security equipments including X-ray Baggage Inspection System, HHMDs etc. are serviceable.

All airlines should nominate senior level officer as NODAL OFFICER and positioned at the airport during the fog period to be available for taking on the spot decision for passenger facilitation and to co-ordinate with the control cells established by DIAL for the Fog contingency.

Airlines shall augment their ground staff and position them at the airport with proper briefing for handling various passenger facilitation processes in co-ordination with the other airport agencies.
Airlines shall inform their passengers of the delay/rescheduling/ cancellation of their flights in advance through mobile/SMS/other communication mean to avoid congestion at the airport.
Airlines shall periodically update flight information display system at the airport to apprise their passengers about the delay/ cancellation etc. In addition to the information displayed by Airlines about their flight status, airlines shall also provide updated information of their flight on hourly basis to DIAL for display on Flight Information Display System.

Frequent announcement on the flight status shall be made in the passenger check-in area after obtaining updated information from Airlines. The airlines shall make similar announcement in the security hold area.

Airlines shall ensure progressive boarding of the passengers out of security hold area to avoid congestion in the security hold. Passenger after check-in shall be made to proceed for security by the airlines after ensuring that the flight is ready to depart / on ground. If delayed, after boarding, appropriate facilitation to the passengers be given by Airlines on board.

The Airlines, particularly LCC shall provide facilitation in terms of tea/water/snacks to the passenger of their delayed flights. The coupon scheme extended by DIAL may be availed by airlines for the passenger facilitation purpose.

All the security counters and custom/immigration counters, as applicable for International terminal, should be manned adequately to avoid congestion.

DIAL shall give periodic information and regarding the status of aircraft movement that has taken place at IGI airport during fog conditions in consultation with Airlines.

AAI shall not undertake any construction work on alternate airports during the fog period that may affect aircraft operations.

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