Haze prompts airport closure in Pekanbaru

Haze prompts airport closure in Pekanbaru

20 May 2009

published by www.thejakartapost.com

Indonesia — Airport duty manager Ibnu Hasan said the airport was closed at around 7 a.m. local time because visibility only reached 800 meters.

He added the condition made flying risky because pilot visibility should be at least 1,000 meters.

He said scheduled Mandala Air and Lion Air flights had been delayed due to the closure.

“Both flights should have left for Jakarta at 7 a.m., but were delayed and only left 30 minutes later. Flight schedules returned to normal after the haze disappeared,” he said.

Haze has blanketed Pekanbaru for the past two days. Pekanbaru BMG weather station head Blucher Doloksaribu said the haze was caused by forest and peatland fires that took place the previous week.

Riau Governor Rusli Zainal urged government agencies to prepare for and respond to forest fires in their respective areas. He also urged people, particularly farmers, not to resort to fires to clear land.

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