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Smoke haze forces Malaysian, Indonesian airport closures

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Dense smoke from burning rainforests has forced the closure of at least two Southeast Asian regional airports.

Kuching International Airport (KIA) in Sarawak, Malaysia on was closed Sept. 10 due to visibility down to some 1,300 ft. resulting in the cancellation or diversion of several flights.

In Indonesia, poor visibility due to smoke disrupted flight schedules at Pinang Kampai Airport, Riau for several days last month.

Pinang Kampai Airport GM Catur Hargowo said visibility of only 6,000 ft. led to the cancellation of at least one landing. The Pinang Kampai facility is a VFR-only operator with no landing aids.

“[That means] pilots can only take off when the visibility in Pinang Kampai is 2.5 miles as required by our standard operating procedures,” Hargowo said. “The haze is currently only causing delays, but if more serious conditions prevail we may be forced to close down the airport,” he said.

Full report:

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4 years on and the same problem with Ipoh airport impacted




Any idea how low the visibility was? Do they not have ILS?

Reading the airport charts it has more limitations due to surrounding terrain and shorter runway length. Only way to get lower rvr and minimums is to upgrade the ils category(which is unlikely unless traffic level is like bkk) other option is to chop off the terrains.


Also note Its the only airport in malaysia where b737ngs are required to use flaps 15 to take off instead of 5 due to runway length.

Edited by jahur

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