13 July 2012

Namibia: Fog Stops Flights to and From Walvis

AIRCRAFT operators, including Air Namibia, had to delay flights to and from the Walvis Bay International Airport for most of the morning yesterday because of dense low-lying fog.

According to the air traffic operator at Walvis Bay, the fog was lying "on deck with no ceiling", meaning that it was on the ground and the runway, and that there was no clear sky above it. In fact, since the early morning, visibility was about 200 metres; later clearing up to about 400 metres, but still too risky for air traffic, according to the officer.

"We're not even allowing one airplane to take off right now, so all of them are on the ground. The operators and Air Namibia are also aware of the situation, but are monitoring it. There will be some delays," the officer said.

This is a usual occurrence at the coast in winter, but the fog usually clears up later in the day.

Corporate Communication Officer at AirNam, Oneka Msiska, said the flight between Walvis Bay and Cape Town was delayed for about three hours yesterday, and only departed at 11h00.

The flight between Cape Town and Walvis Bay also experienced a "slight delay". This caused another delay later between Windhoek to Accra.

"In such cases, all passengers are informed of the situation at hand, and passengers having connections beyond their destination point get the first preference to be rebooked into other airlines' next available flight, for example SAA.

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