Airport operations resume after hours of uncertainty
KATHMANDU, MARCH 26
Incoming and outbound flights in Tribhuvan International Airport here in the capital were affected on Wednesday owing to poor visibility induced by increased air-pollution.
Flights to and from the airport were affected for over two hours due to poor visibility at TIA triggered by thick smog prevalent in Kathmandu Valley since the morning. Wildfires in many parts of the country during this dry season are said to be causing the smog in the valley.
Airlines have their own visibility manual for take-off and landing of aircraft. Though visibility of 800 metres is taken as fair for outgoing international flights at the airport, visibility of above 1,600 metres is imperative for aircraft while landing
The lowest visibility at TIA today was measured at below the required 800 metres while it gradually increased after 5:00pm, an airport official stated. As many as four flights were on hold in the sky as the visibility took a dip in the afternoon.
In the case of domestic flights, a minimum visibility of 1,600 metres is necessary for both take-off and landing.The scheduled flights finally resumed after hours of ordeal caused by the smog.
One international flight, a Cathay Pacific aircraft arriving in Kathmandu via Hong Kong, was diverted to India while the capital bound domestic flights were turned to other cities.