The Jakarta Post
Authorities of Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, say the visibility at the airport and in surrounding areas has decreased to below 500 meters, forcing them to delay all flights scheduled to depart on Tuesday morning. Several flights scheduled to land in Hang Nadim were rerouted to other airports, they added.
'Visibility was still below 500m this morning. No flight has departed from the airport and flight arrivals have also been disrupted,' Hang Nadim International Airport general affairs manager Suwarso said as quoted by Antara news agency in Batam on Tuesday morning.
He said it was the worst visibility the smoke from forest fires in Sumatra had caused in Batam.
Antara reported that visibility had been getting worse since Monday afternoon, causing the disruption of flights bound for Hang Nadim, Batam. Based on airport arrival data, eight flights should have landed as of 8:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, but reportedly no flights arrived.
Three departures, Lion Air flights departing for Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang and a Garuda Indonesia flight departing for Jakarta, have been delayed until the situation to improves.
'We have continued to monitor the situation and are still waiting for developments. Thick smoke blanketing the airport's runways is still disrupting our flight schedules,' said Suwarso.
A number of people who came to pick up friends and relatives at Hang Nadim Airport said they had not yet received information on when the rerouted flights would arrive in Batam.
'I was informed that the Lion Air flight from Jakarta is still in Medan [in North Sumatra]. It has not yet departed to Batam,' said Rizal. The disrupted flight schedules have caused a passenger build-up at the airport's departure terminal. (ebf)(++++)
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