Airport faces brunt of midnight storm

| | New Delhi

Tuesday’s midnight storm in Delhi impacted runway operations at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) adversely. The domestic terminal was the most affected as high intensity dust- storm considered to be season's strongest- swept through. The wind speed was recorded at 106 kilometer per hour (57 knots). The dusty -gusty storm hit national Capital at 3 am and the most affected runway was runway 11 (IGIA - Palam) while the other runways which were relatively less disturbed were — runway 28 and 29 with high velocity of 52 and 50 (knots ) respectively.

 Dr Rajendra Jenamani, Head of MeT scientists group said that flight operations were delayed but not like earlier days, "Irrespective of the fact that it was strongest in this season, impact on aviation was least, as 3 flight went round and 1 diversion, as traffic is lowest during the period," he said.

 According to MeT scientists, the late night thunder storm lasted for  two hours.  "In terms of aviation impact at IGIA, this was lowest impact unlike the storm of April 6, May2 and  May 13, when total  diversion of flight was 32, 13 and 78 receptively each evening corresponding to squally/gusty  winds of  84kmph, 80kmph and 95kmph, timing of associated thunder storm  and dust storm were of life period of almsot  two hours  to four hours from 0520-0730pm, 0800-0945 and 0400-0800,"  said Dr Jenamai".

The Pioneer spoke with experts to know how flights and runway operation  could be affected because of high intensity dust and thunder storm.

 "Different operations including navigation disturbance due to dust storms on airport and usually there are chances to get disturbance of airport operations done by pilot while taking off flights," said aviation expert. 

"Dust particles impact and bounce on cold areas of the engine (fan or propeller blades) can cause  surface damages and widen the gap. Augmentation and leading to gas flow deterioration and gradual loss of performance of the engine, "damages are also caused at the external surface of the aircraft as well depend on the intensity ,"  the expert added  further.



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