The Jakarta Post
The government is preparing nine airports to redirect airplanes heading to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on the resort island of Bali, should the airport be closed in the event of a Mount Agung eruption.
The nine airports are Juanda Airport in Surabaya, Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta, Lombok Airport in West Nusa Tenggara, Komodo Airport Labuan Bajo, Hassanudin Airport in Makassar and Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado and Pattimura Airport in Ambon.
“It is part of our mitigation plan,” said Transportation Ministry’s air transportation director general Agus Santoso during a coordination meeting at Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Sunday.
Read also: Thousands flee rumbling Mount Agung
More than 34,000 people have reportedly fled from the rumbling volcano as the magnitude of volcanic tremors grow, prompting fears it could erupt in the coming days.
He said the ministry would monitor the volcanic activities, particularly the volcanic materials in the air from the volcano through satellite imagery operated by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), numeric digital reports from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) in Darwin and based on pilots’ observations.
He said his office would close the airport if the three parties issued recommendations. “If there is only one recommendation, we cannot close it. We will validate the report,” he said as reported by Antara.
If the volcano erupted, but the volcanic materials did not flow to the airport, the ministry would not close the airport, he added. (bbn)