New Year gift for flyers: Bengaluru airport can operate flights in low visibility conditions

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BENGALURU: Thousands of flyers whose travel plans are disrupted annually due to foggy conditions at Bengaluru airport can breathe a sigh of relief now. The South Runway of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, (KIAB) became CAT-IIIB compliant on Thursday at 5.30 am, an upgradation that permits operations of flights in low visibility conditions.

An official release said Bengaluru airport becomes the first in South India and sixth in the country to achieve this distinction.

"With this upgrade, the South Runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a Runway Visual Range as low as 50m and take-offs at 125m. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550m and 300m for landing and take-off respectively," it said.

Fog in Bengaluru has traditionally caused delays and diversions of flights, the release said, adding that adverse weather conditions will now have minimal impact on the movement of aircraft.

Aiding smooth operations during low visibility are the newly-installed advanced Instrument Landing System, Airfield Ground Lights, meteorological equipment such as Transmissometer, Automatic Weather Observatory Station, Surface Movement Radar and other navigational aids.

The rehabilitation of the North Runway, which has been closed for operations from June 22 this year, is underway. Improvements effected in this runway will.offer flexibility to operate in low visibility and adverse weather conditions.