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03 Nov 2019 | 06:49 PM UTC

India: Severe pollution causes flight delays at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi November 3 /update 5

India News Alert

Severe pollution causes flight delays at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi November 3; limit outdoor activity

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/3/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/5/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION New Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)

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Flights to and from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) have been delayed on Sunday, November 3, due to visibility problems associated with the high level of pollution in New Delhi. At least 37 flights were diverted on Sunday, and major airlines have warned of possible delays and cancelations at DEL over the near term. Some flights reportedly resumed later on Sunday as conditions began to clear.

Health officials on Friday, November 1, declared a public health emergency due to the "Severe+" level of air pollution in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) reached 625 on Sunday afternoon - the highest yet in this season. All polluting activities have been banned in the area until Tuesday, November 5.

Officials predict an improvement in air quality on Monday, November 4, as winds are expected to sweep across New Delhi and aid the dispersal of pollutants.

Further transportation disruptions, including flight delays and cancelations, are possible over the coming days. The smog is expected to significantly hamper outdoor activity over the coming days, even as pollution levels are forecast to gradually decrease.


Individuals present in New Delhi and the National Capital Region are advised to monitor the situation, limit outdoor activities until the situation normalizes, and wear N95 rated masks as a protection. Children and those with chronic respiratory illnesses should exercise increased caution. Individuals are advised to seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.

Individuals flying via DEL are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations, and anticipate flight disruptions, such as delays and cancelations. 


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