Flight operations resumed after 10 am as flights started landing and take-offs resumed after 11:30 am.

Thick fog and low visibility hit the normalcy in flight operations  for several hours in Delhi yet again on the last day of the year. Visibility level fell below the minimum required affecting over 100 flights on Sunday.

Dense fog at the national capital caused fall of the visibility level below 50 meters – less than the minimum needed for flight operations – resulting in the delay in departure or diversion of domestic and international flights coming for Delhi.  Operations were put on hold between 8 am and 10 am on all the three runways of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.

“Runway visibility since 5.30 am has been between 50-75 metres. This is so far the worst fog we have experienced this year,” said RK Jenamani, Director, IMD, Delhi area and IGI airport.

According to airport officials, flight operations resumed after 10 am as flights started landing again and take-offs resumed after 11:30 am.

“Dense fog at @Delhi_Airport today #CATIIIB Glad we could land @airindiain AI142 Before time,” tweeted Air India pilot Nivedita Bhasin at 10:41 am.

More than 40 flights were diverted and over 90 flights were affected at Delhi airport before flight operations got back to normalcy, the source said.

The weather department has confirmed that the temperature at New Delhi  was recorded at 6.4 degree Celsius on Sunday morning – a bit below the average temperature of the season.

The extreme weather condition has affected the Indian Railway services as well. At least 15 trains being cancelled, 57 delayed and 18 rescheduled due to fog in several parts of northern India. Furthermore, the traffic police had cautioned motorists to drive with extreme care on highways and especially Yamuna Expressway.

The National Capital Region (NCR)  has been witnessing heavy smog condition for the last two months – following Diwali festival – due to pollutants sourced from automobile emissions, road dust, industrial emissions and huge volume of smoke resulted due to crop-residue burning on vast swathes of land in neighboring Punjab and Haryana.