TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Visibility at Batam's Hang Nadim International Airport has deteriorated to such an extent that it has disrupted a number of flights heading towards mainland Sumatra.
A Lion Air Flight JT149 from Batam to Jambi, which was originally scheduled for 12.10 local time, has not yet left the airport as per 16.00 local time. Meanwhile, flight JT 239 from Batam to Pekanbaru has been cancelled.
Meanwhile, another Lion Air Flight JT 149 from Jambi to Batam, which was originally due at Hang Nadim at 14.40 local time, has not yet been cleared to land at the airport.
"Technically, aircraft can still take off from Hang Nadim despite the poor visibility conditions, but they'll have a hard time landing at their destinations," said a representative from Lion Air in Batam, Mahrido.
According to him, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reports said that visibility at the airport had dropped to around 1,200 meters.
"We are still waiting for the conditions in Jambi, Pekanbaru, and Tanjung Karang to clear before we allow aircraft to fly out to those cities," said Mahrido.
Garuda Indonesia also experienced a number of delays due to the haze over Sumatra. Flight GA271 from Batam to Medan, which was originally scheduled to depart on 15.45 local time, is still not cleared to depart from the airport. Flight GA270, scheduled to leave from Batam to Tanjung Karang at 11.20 local time, is also still no cleared for take off from the airport.
BMKG Officials at Hang Nadim have said that visibility at Hang Nadim averages between 5,000 to 8,000 meters on Monday morning. No statements have been released by airport authorities or BMKG officials at the airport despite the worsening haze shrouding the airport.