JAKARTA, November 28, 2017 - Ngurah Rai International Airport closure has been extended starting at 07.00 local time (WITA), until 07.00 WITA tomorrow (29/11). The closing was conducted by AirNav Indonesia.
AirNav issued Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) number A4274/17 concerning the closure extension of Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. The eruption of Gunung Agung covered the air space above the airport which would affect flight security.
Initially, the airport was closed until Tuesday (28/11) at 07.00 WITA, and now to Wednesday (29/11) at 07.00 WITA.
"After the eruption that occurred last night, there was a coordination meeting held at the Office of the Airport Authority at 01.00 AM WITA with all relevant stakeholders. It was decided in the meeting that the closure will be extended until tomorrow morning (29/11) at 07.00 WITA. The decision of the meeting was submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and approved," said Airnav Indonesia Operations Director, Wisnu Darjono. Therefore, Wisnu continued, the closing decision is the authority of the regulator, which is followed up with the issuance of NOTAM by Airnav Indonesia.
The decision, he added, was taken in light of Mount Agung's ever-increasing activity and eruption. The paper test data submitted by airport operators and officials at the Airport Authority IV Office showed the results of NIL VA (no Volcanic Ash) in the airport area, but the airspace has been affected by volcanic ash.
Wisnu explained that data analysis along with predictions of wind speed and direction from BMKG show a wind direction from north to northeast with a speed of 5-10 knots.
In addition, SIGMET information from MWO Ujung Pandang shows that volcanic ash is moving south and southwest so that it covers the air space above I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport.
"Airnav Indonesia Denpasar Branch states that according to the ploting area of Volcanic Ash Advisory shows that the air traffic guidance lane has been covered with the spread of volcanic ash, so this endangers flights," said Vishnu.
He said that, as a result of this closure, all flights to and from Denpasar were canceled. "We and all relevant stakeholders prioritize aviation safety. So this decision was taken for the sake of aviation safety," said Vishnu.
From Gedung Sapta Pesona, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya asked tourists from both the archipelago and overseas to please be patient. Natural events, such as volcanic eruptions, are technically not easy to predict.