Haze from fires disrupts air travel in North Sumatra

    The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network | Fri, Feb 21 2014

    INDONESIA - A number of small airports in several North Sumatra regencies have been closed or seen their operations disrupted due to haze caused by land and forest fires over the past few days.

    State-run airport management company PT Angkasa Pura II reported that one of the airports affected by the haze was the Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport in Pinangsori, Central Tapanuli regency. The airport, located on the western coast of North Sumatra, has been closed since Wednesday.

    The company's spokesman Ali Sofyan said a regular flight route from the Kuala Namu International Airport near Medan to the Pinangsori Airport had been cancelled.

    "Based on a report from Pinangsori, the airport is still closed due to poor visibility," Sofyan said on Thursday.

    Sofyan, who is also airport service manager at Kuala Namu Airport, said it remained unclear when the Pinangsori airport would resume operations.

    Meanwhile, Medan branch air navigation general manager Susanto said visibility at Silangit Airport in North Tapanuli regency was only 2,000 meters. According to him, the visibility was below the normal level so wide-body planes from Kuala Namu Airport did not want to risk landing at the airport.

    "Today, the Silangit Airport remains open despite the haze and so far most flight activities are running smoothly," he said, adding that only Wings Air flights were not servicing Silangit Airport.

    Next >> Affected airports

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