Scientists to study impact of fog on Bengaluru airport

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Bengaluru, Feb 4 (IANS) A team of scientists from the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research will conduct a 40-month atmospheric study on the impact of fog on the Bengaluru airport operations, said its operator on Monday.

“The study will enable the airport to predict fog conditions more accurately, minimising air traffic congestion,” said operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) in a statement here.

The research centre and BIAL signed an agreement to conduct the study with joint funding on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the airport at Devanahalli, about 40 km northeast of Bengaluru.

Bharat Ratna, eminent scientist and research centre founder C.N.R. Rao was present on the occasion.

Fog and poor visibility in the morning hours disrupt arrivals and departures of about 200 domestic and overseas flights at the country’s third busiest airport during the winter, causing delays, diversions and re-schedules.

“The outcome will be a relief for passengers, flying in and out of Bengaluru during the winter months, when fog is at its peak,” said the statement.

The team, led by Professor Sreenivas, will develop a numerical simulation tool capable of predicting onset, intensity and dissipation of fog.

“Factors influencing the occurrence of fog, such as atmospheric variability, ground temperature, atmospheric aerosol loading, radiative fluxes, water vapour and energy transport in the surface layer will be monitored during the fog season and the preceding months,” said the statement.

To ensure accuracy of the study, specific instruments, including a wind cube, humidity temperature profiler, net radiation meters, total sky scanner, data acquisition switches and velocity and temperature probes will be set up at designated areas in the vicinity of the airport runway.

“We pursue scientific research and have capabilities to support the airport operator in this exercise to benefit air travellers and airlines,” said the Centre’s President Nagaraja.

Fog-related delays and diversions inconvenience passengers during the fall season and cause financial losses to the stake holders.

“We believe the study will generate data to facilitate flight planning and scheduling, bringing relief to passengers,” said BIAL Chief Executive Hari Marar.

The greenfield airport will open its second runway in October for better operations. It will be Category-3 compliant with an advanced navigation system to land and take-off even under heavy fog.

“As fog will still affect operations, its prediction will enable an aircraft to operate under low-visibility conditions,” said Marar.

As a deemed university, the city-based Nehru Centre has over 300 graduate students and experimental, computational and infrastructure facilities and 50 faculty members to do inter-disciplinary research.

The decade-old Kempegowda or Bengaluru airport is run by a consortium of private and public partners, including the state and central governments, with 26 per cent combined stake and the balance 74 per cent by private investors.

–IANS

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