Mumbai: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)'s decision to ban pilots without Category-III certification from flying in foggy weather is likely to severely impact low-cost carriers, SpiceJet and JetLite. The dilemma for both the airlines lies in the fact that both the airlines have a high operational frequency in the fog-prone zones of North India, especially New Delhi, and fail to include even a single Category-III certified pilot in their ranks.
New Delhi sees frequent disruptions in air traffic due to fog. Both SpiceJet and JetLite flights to Delhi, in particular, are either scheduled for the early morning or late night slots when airports experience maximum fog.
The DGCA decision could also impact other airlines like Jet Airways, as only 58 of their 358 pilots are Category-III certified.
The Category-III landing systems allow pilots to land and take-off in poor visibility.
However, a spokesperson for SpiceJet said that the airline operates with standard Boeing 737 aircraft, which is not equipped with Category-III and installing the system on all the aircraft would cost a fortune.