Heatwave-like condition returned to the capital on Friday as the maximum touched 44.9 degrees Celsius at Palam - six notches above normal. The services at the IGI airport were impacted in particular for three hours where temperatures hovered close to 45 degrees Celsius. Met officials at the airport said this led to delays and affected larger aircraft, in particular, making it difficult for flights to generate lift.
"The maximum at Palam was recorded at 44.9 degrees Celsius and the impact of the heatwave was so severe that the runway temperature was around 45 degrees between 2.30pm and 5 pm. The same temperatures were reported to the airlines at a 30-minute gap so they could take safety precautions," said RK Jenamani, head, Met office at IGI airport. Severe heat generally impacts the flight as the air becomes less dense - affecting its ability to for take-off.
A senior commander of a wide body aircraft said, "A jet engine performance is directly proportional to the outside air temperature. The higher the air temperature, the more the load penalty in terms of performance and thus, the load carrying capacity goes down. Temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius end up affecting the engine performance severely. The aircraft takes longer length of runway, load carrying capacity falls and there are other performance problems."
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