Heavy rain to hit air traffic at Mumbai airport

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 23 Juni 2013 | 22.24

MUMBAI: Flight delays will mark coming days at Mumbai airport as the met department has warned of heavy rain in the coming days. Most flights have been delayed by 30-40 minutes on an average during the previous week. Last week, many flights were even diverted to other cities as they could not approach Mumbai runway due to heavy rains and ran short of holding fuel. The situation is likely to be the same in the coming days as heavy rains are expected, said officials.

Officials said that the presence of cumulonimbus clouds in the sky threaten incoming flights on rainy days. These clouds are dark, thunder bearing rain clouds which an aircraft cannot pass through. "The pilot gets a dot on the weather screen when the aircraft is approaching these clouds. An aircraft has to keep away from them," said a senior commander. Officials at the airport said that these clouds were noticed above Mumbai and might hinder operations.

"Flights have to hold as they cannot pass through these clouds. If the holding time gets longer, flights are at a risk of running out of fuel. Hence, they have to be diverted," said an air traffic controller. Fluctuating visibility due to cloud cover is another deterrent to smooth flight operations, said officials.

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