Banyuwangi (ANTARA) - The Banyuwangi Airport in East Java Province on Sunday was temporarily closed due to volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Raung because it poses a risk to flight safety.

"We have received a notice to airmen (notam) from Airnav Indonesia for the closure of Banyuwangi Airport today from 8:50 to 14:50 local time," Cin Asmoro, Executive General Manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II (Persero)'s Banyuwangi Airport chapter in a statement here on Sunday.

Based on observations carried out by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Mount Raung's volcanic ash had reached Banyuwangi Airport.

"Data from BMKG shows that the direction of the volcanic ash is toward the east, which means to the airport area. Based on a paper test, it's positive. So we report this to the Surabaya airport authority region 3, and later a decision was made that our airport has to to be closed starting at around 8:30 WIB (Western Indonesian Standard Time) this morning," he said.

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Cin Asmoro said that on early Sunday, Banyuwangi Airport was still operating, and the airport was still serving Citilink commercial aircraft flights from Surabaya, and continued to Denpasar, as well as Citilink serving the Jakarta-Banyuwangi route.

Three commercial airlines Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, and Citilink canceled their operations at Banyuwangi Airport on Sunday.

The Banyuwangi Airport authority waited for the development of the volcanic ash from Mount Raung, to decide whether the airport closure will be extended until Monday (8/2) or not.

In addition to Mount Raung, at present Mount Merapi located between Central Java and Yogyakarta and Mount Semeru in East Java, are also erupting and trigger volcanic ash rains covering several villages.

Related news: Two Australian airlines cancel flights to Bali due to Mount Raung eruption

Translator: Fardah Assegaf
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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