Ministry to study proposal to close airports to contain COVID-19

Ministry to study proposal to close airports to contain COVID-19

Director General of Air Transportation Novie Riyanto. ANTARA// Juwita Trisna Rahayu/sh

Commercial and non-commercial flights can be suspended after extensively disseminating information to air transport operators and customers
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Transportation Ministry will study the local governments' intent to suspend all flight services to their respective regions to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

Director-General of Air Transportation Novie Riyanto noted in a statement here on Thursday that an airport is a vital object that not only serves to transport passengers but also cargo, logistics, and postal services, required by the public.

An airport serves as an alternate aerodrome for flights encountering a technical glitch. It also serves flight for medical evacuation (medivac) and transporting samples of COVID-19 infection.

In the meantime, air navigation service (Airnav Indonesia) was unable to suspend its operations, as flight navigation is not only necessary for flights at the respective airport but also those passing through the air space within its working area.

"Commercial and non-commercial flights can be suspended after extensively disseminating information to air transport operators and customers," he noted.

Riyanto remarked that the Airport Authority for region I-IX will communicate intensively with the local governments and all stakeholders of air transportation in a bid to curtail its operational risk.

"I am optimistic that through intensive coordination and communication, we can unitedly prevent the spread of COVID-19," he affirmed.

As of Wednesday (March 25), Indonesia had reported 790 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 58 deaths, and 31 individuals having recovered.
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