Stable and clear atmospheric conditions, lower surface temperatures, an ample moisture supply, and a strong low-level inversion persisting for most of the night usually facilitates the formation of dense fog during winter in Delhi. This severely hinders the flight operations at India’s busiest airport, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, where more than 900 flight operations occur per day and an interruption can cause significant financial losses to the aviation industry. It is important to undertake a quantitative study of the estimated losses. This study, undertaken for the first time in India, aimed to evaluate the impact of dense fog at IGI Airport on economic losses which occurred during the winter season between 2011 and 2016. The breakdown of charges for different segments of flight operations for the domestic and international sectors was obtained from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India. A total of 653 h of dense fog between 2011 and 2016 at IGI Airport caused economic losses of approximately 3.9 million USD (248 million Indian rupees) to the airlines. The analysis further found that from 2014–2015 onwards, there has been a reduction in the number of flight delays, diversions, and cancellations by approximately 88%, 55%, and 36%, respectively, due to the strict implementation of guidelines to facilitate the Category (CAT)-III landing for aircraft during dense fog.
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