Indonesia: Haze stops 7 aircraft from landing at Pekanbaru airport

Haze stops 7 aircraft from landing at Pekanbaru airport

(Source: ChannelNews Asia, June22, 2004)

PEKANBARU, Indonesia : Seven aircraft failed to land at the Sultan Syarief Airport on Tuesday due to the thick haze from forest and bushfires raging in Indonesia’s Riau province.

Airport chief Sutrisno said visibility increased to about 400 metres at 8am from 300 metres at 6am on Tuesday.

As visibility was below the threshold, seven airplanes failed to land at the airport and one airplane failed to take off, he said.

The seven aircraft were two Merpati airplanes and two Jatayu airplanesfrom Medan, capital of North Sumatra province, a Star Air airplane, a Garuda airplane and a Mandala airplane from Jakarta.

Quoting the satellite monitoring by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Forest Fire Prevention Control Project in the province, local authorities said 29 hotspots were discovered last Friday but the number jumped to 98 on Sunday.

Slash-and burn-clearing practices are often to blame for the haze.

According to Antara news agency, the thick haze that has blanketed Pekanbaru and its surrounding regions the past several days has begun to reach an alarming level.

Although the haze on Tuesday blurred visibility and caused eye irritation, residents have not begun wearing masks to prevent respiratory ailments. – CNA


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