Supadio Airport’s flight schedules hindered by thick wildfire smoke

"We all have felt the impact of the thickening smog, and we hope that all of us care. May we receive rainfall in the near future, so that the sources of land and forest fires can be extinguished," Herdiansyah stated.

Kubu Raya, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Thick smoke emanating from wildfires in West Kalimantan Province has lowered visibility to some 550 meters, resulting in the Supadio International Airport authorities not permitting pilots to land or take off on Monday morning.

As of 8 a.m. local time, four flights should have landed at the airport, though on the contrary, none did, Acting Head of the Operational Division at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak Didi Herdiansyah remarked on Monday.

The approved visibility for aviation safety is at least a thousand meters, but the thickening smog has drastically reduced it to 550 meters. Consequently, several flight schedules were affected, he noted.

"The deteriorating visibility has resulted in cancellations of several flights," he remarked, adding that only one flight -- Garuda Flight G501 serving the Pontianak-Jakarta route -- had taken off from the airport on Monday at 6:34 a.m. local time.

In comparison with Sunday morning (Sept 15), the Supadio International Airport authorities recorded seven departures and three arrivals until 8 a.m. local time, but thereafter 37 flights got cancelled owing to the smog.

After 5 p.m. local time, the Supadio International Airport authorities resumed operations during which 13 flight departures and 16 flight arrivals were recorded at the airport, he confirmed.

"We all have felt the impact of the thickening smog, and we hope that all of us care. May we receive rainfall in the near future, so that the sources of land and forest fires can be extinguished," Herdiansyah stated.

Several parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan have been bearing the brunt of the thick smoke arising from wildfires over the past weeks. The thickening smog has even threatened the people's health and economic activities.

The thickening haze arising from land and forest fires had also disrupted the flight schedules of Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, the capital city of Central Kalimantan Province, on Sunday.

The thick smoke had significantly reduced visibility to 600 meters, thereby making it difficult for pilots to make a smooth landing at the airport, Executive General Manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II-Tjilik Riwut Airport Siswanto stated.

The airport authorities just served two Lion Air flights for Surabaya and Jakarta on Sunday morning, he remarked, adding that poor visibility had also caused Garuda Indonesia to cancel take-off and landing of its flights at the airport.

The thickening smog arising from the ongoing wildfires had impacted several flight schedules, including those from Palangka Raya to cities, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Solo, he added.

On Sunday morning, poor visibility also prevented the passengers of Lion Air flight JT 626 from landing at North Kalimantan Province's Juwata International Airport.

Source: ANTARA News

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