TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-Garuda Indonesia Airplane has cancelled its flight for twice due to haze attack in Timika. "We have cancelled our flight for twice since Sunday," said Garuda spokesman, Benny Butar Butar, on Tuesday, October 20. Benny said it was impossible to initiate a flight; the visibility was about 150-200 meters. The safe visual range to perform a landing is 1,000 meters. Garuda has yet to calculate its loss during the flight cancelation.
Previously, Ardy Onda Ndaya Sipatu, observer of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency in Timika, said that based on the observation of Terra Aqua satellite, 142 hotspots were found in Merauke and surrounding and created thick haze in southern area of Papua. “Based on the latest satellite monitoring, there is 142 new hotspots in Merauke, Yos Sudarso Island, until Mappi Regency. The hotspots are rising compared to the day before with only 131 hotspots recorded,” he said in Timika on Saturday. Due to such condition, he said, several areas in southern Papua such as Asmat Regency, Mimika, Kaimana, and Arafura, also Aru Islands in Maluku province is affected by the haze from Merauke and surrounding.
Since Thursday, October 15, all flight activities in Moses Kilangin Airport, Timika, especially big planes such as Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, and Airfast Indonesia, was forced to be annulled.