CAT IIIB compliant is an upgrade that permits flight operations even in poor visibility conditions. Bengaluru airport is the first in South India and sixth in the country to achieve this distinction.

Bengaluru airport on Thursday saw its first landing under CAT IIIB conditions, which guarantees enhanced visibility for take-offs and touchdowns. An Indigo flight from Lucknow touched down successfully in the morning, said the airport authorities.

CAT IIIB compliant is an upgrade that permits flight operations even in poor visibility conditions. Bengaluru airport is the first in South India and sixth in the country to achieve this distinction.

“With this upgrade, the South Runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a Runway Visual Range as low as 50m and take-offs at 125m. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550m and 300m for landing and take-off respectively,” the authority said.

“Radiation fog set in during the early part of the day, resulting in a rapid drop in visibility to 200 metres. During this time, IndiGo flight 6E-6389 from Lucknow made a successful touchdown at 0741 hours,” read a statement issued by Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL).

“This upgrade by BIAL is expected to reduce disruption in operations and would immensely benefit passengers during inclement weather conditions,” the statement said.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, “In line with @MoCA_GoI’s #Vision2040 to make India a top civil aviation hub, @BLRAirport handled its first landing under CAT 3B conditions. It will now be able to handle flights during fog/low visibility. @IndiGo6E flight from Lucknow touched down successfully this morning.”

The CAT IIIB upgrade at Kempegowda International Airport took effect from December 31. In an earlier statement, BIAL had said, “Bengaluru airport has obtained regulatory approvals to operationalise the runway with successful completion of both trial and calibration flights followed by an inspection by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Airlines are required to deploy crew trained for CAT-III operations to make optimum use of the facility.”

In 2019, the Bengaluru airport authorities signed an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the airport. This four-year study is currently under way to develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting the onset of radiation-fog over the airport region.

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