Abu Dhabi/Al Ain: Thick fog on Sunday shut Abu Dhabi International Airport for more than five hours resulting in a diversion of at least 14 flights to other airports.
An official at Abu Dhabi International Airport disclosed that the airport was closed for five and a half hours owing to bad weather conditions.
“The airport was closed from 4am until 9.30am. Ten passenger flights and four cargo flights had to be diverted to other airports,” he told Gulf News.
While seven passenger flights were diverted to Doha, two were diverted to Muscat and one to Al Ain. All four cargo flights were diverted to Al Ain airport. Al Ain airport received a total of 17 diverted flights on Sunday, four from Dubai, eight from Sharjah and five from Abu Dhabi.
Senior airport officials reiterated that they were working towards alleviating disruptions to air traffic due to bad weather as much as possible.
Khalifa Al Mazroui, Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), said: “Although we understand the frustrations passengers go through, our first and foremost responsibility as airport operators is to the safety and security of our passengers.
“ADAC is currently upgrading the existing runway from CAT II to CAT III, which will enable landing and take off at a visibility level of 50 metres. The work will be completed before the end of 2008.”
With visibility reduced to 100 metres in most areas, particularly in Abu Dhabi, motorists had a tough time on the roads. However, the traffic police did not report any major accidents.
Officials at the UAE Meteorological Department yesterday said the early morning fog would continue to blanket different parts of the UAE along with a general slide in temperature and reduced visibility.
Describing fog as a regular seasonal phenomenon, a weatherman said it was the result of low overnight temperature and humidity.
on Sunday, the average temperature in the country was 26-29 degree Celsius. Over the next two days partly cloudy weather is expected with a slight fall in temperatures over most areas.
The weatherman said fresh shamal winds would cause dust storms this evening. The weather would remain rather cool at night and hazy over scattered areas by this morning.
Wind speed would be between four to 12 knots, stronger in the evening. It will gain strength by this morning reaching 28 knots over the sea. The sea will be moderately rough with waves as high as seven feet.