Bali airport still closed as volcanic eruption continues

By on November 28, 2017

Birds View of Denpasar Airport, Bali, Indonesia (Photo By Craig - Own work, CC BY 3.0)
Birds View of Denpasar Airport, Bali, Indonesia (Photo By Craig – Own work, CC BY 3.0)

JAKARTA— Transport authorities in Indonesia extended the closure of the Ngurah Rai International Airport on Tuesday as volcanic eruption in the resort island of Bali continued, officials said.

The shutdown of the Ngurah Rai airport has been extended to 7 a.m. local time Wednesday from 7 a.m. Tuesday, said Wisnu Darjono, operations director of AirNav Indonesia, a firm carrying out navigation services.

The decision came as Mount Agung volcano in Bali’s Karangasem district continued eruption on Monday evening, spewing ash by up to 3 km. high.

“After the eruption last night, it was decided to prolong the closure,” he said in a statement.

The director said volcanic ash advisory shows that the navigation pathway has been covered by volcanic ash.

“So this is dangerous for flight. This decision is taken for the safety of flight,” said Darjono.

A total of 89,000 passengers have been stranded in Bali as a result of the airport’s closure.

Separately, in nearby Lombok area, another major foreign tourist destination in the country, the main airport has been reopened since 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Israwadi, corporate secretary of PT Angkasa Pura I, operator of the airport.

The airport was shut down at 7:50 p.m. local time Monday.

The Lombok International Airport serves as an alternative airport when the Ngurah Rai airport could not operate.

More than 200,000 foreign holiday-makers come to Bali every month, according to the national statistics agency.