Scientists to study impact of fog on Bengaluru airport

Environment and climate change

Bengaluru,
Feb 05. 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.

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