Tuesday, 12 December 2017 | 01:55 WIB

Nine Airports Prepared by Transportation Ministry Anticipating Volcanic Activity of Mount Agung

Director General of Air Transportation Agus Santoso

KUTA, BALI, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Ministry of Transportation is preparing nine airports close to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, anticipating volcanic activity of Mount Agung or Gunung Agung (3,142 meters above sea level) which is currently raised to the Warning level.

"This is all mitigation plans. As long as there is no volcanic ash, there is no problem at all for flights to and from Bali," said Director General of Air Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation Agus Santoso during a coordination meeting at the "Emergency Operation Center" (EOC) building of I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Kuta, Badung Regency, Sunday (9/24/2017).

According to Agus, the nine airports are Juanda Airport of Surabaya, Blimbingsari Airport of Banyuwangi, Adi Sumarmo Airport of Solo, Lombok Airport, Komodo Airport of Labuan Bajo, Hassanudin Airport of Makassar and Sepinggan Airport of Balikpapan.

Two other airports are located in the northern part of Indonesia, that is, Sam Ratulangi Airport of Manado and Pattimura Airport of Ambon for international flights that usually come from several countries such as from Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The ministry has prepared scenarios in the event of volcanic ash eruption by Mount Agung then airplane routes to Bali will be transferred to the nine airports.

Agus further explained that the ministry took a step according to the procedure based on satellite image report on volcanic ash condition from Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and "digital numerical report" from Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) of Darwin, Australia.

In addition, reports may also be contributed based on eye observations from pilots who happened to see the development of volcanic ash.

Agus added that the decision to close the airport can be done if there are reports of two parameters from those three reports. (*)