The Jakarta Post
Flights at Pinang Kampai Airport in Dumai, Riau were disrupted by haze from forest fires in several areas in the province over the weekend.
The head of the airport, Catur Hargowo, said the haze limited visibility to only about 1-kilometer. Until noon on Sunday, the thickness of the haze fluctuated and visibility improved to only 2-km.
“Visibility reached the lowest level today,” Catur told The Jakarta Post over the phone Sunday.
Safe visibility is at least 4.2-km for small airports such as Pinang Kampai. “Our landing instruments are not complete yet, for example, we have no runway lights. That’s why the visibility standard is farther than 1.8-km for a modern airport,” he said.
A Pelita Air flight from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta to Pinang Kampai had to land in Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Pekanbaru, the province’s capital.
“The pilot decided not to land here because of the visibility. The passengers were to continue the journey to Dumai by land,” Catur went on.
Catur said they let the pilots decide themselves. A Trans Nusa flight landed in the morning and departed to Jakarta an hour from arrival.
“The pilot is familiar with Dumai’s air space. He remembers the check points in the airport because he flies here every day. But the Pelita Air pilot was new and rarely flies to Dumai. Each airline and pilot has their own procedure,” Catur said. (evi)
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