Pontianak, West Kalimantan — Haze covered Pontianak, capital of West Kalimantan Province, on Tuesday morning, disturbing landing schedules of flights from Jakarta as visibility fell to 200-500 meters.
The haze forced a number of planes to delay their landing for at least one hour on Tuesday morning, Maroni, a staff officer at Supadio Airport in Pontianak, said here on Tuesday.
“According to the earlier schedule, Sriwijaya and Adam Air planes from Jakarta were expected to land at around 7 a.m., but up to 8.30 a.m. they are still unable to land,” he said.
A Batavia plane landed at 8 a.m. after being delayed for around one hour due to the haze.
Since the dry season started, a number of flight schedules were disturbed because the airport was covered by haze.
At the airport area in the early morning, visibility usually reaches around 200 meters to 500 meters, and later in the day, it improves to more than 1,000 meters.
Some 566 hotspots of forest fires were last week detected in West Kalimantan`s 10 districts.
Sanggau District had the highest number of hot spots with 149 spreading in its 12 sub-districts, according to Soenarso, an officer of Forest Fire Control Unit of the West Kalimantan Forest Service, here on Friday.
In Ketapang district, 106 hot spots were detected among other things in the province`s national park and protected forest area.
Some 99 hot spots were found in Sintang district, 54 in Pontianak, 21 in Landak district, 14 in Sekadau, and two in Sambas district
Forest fires, as the cheapest way to clear land for plantations on Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands, have often produced thick haze that eventually also drifted to neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last June called on ministers concerned, provincial governors, district chiefs and mayors to jointly prevent, anticipate and handle forest and land fires whenever theyoccur.