Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA) - Authority of the Minangkabau International Airport (BIM) in West Sumatra reopened the airport on Saturday following temporary closure due to the effect of volcanic ash in the airport.

"On Friday (January 19), we had to close the airport due to the spread of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Marapi. After a paper test this morning, the result came negative, and we can reopen the airport," Head of the Padang Region VI Airport Authority Office, Captain Megi H. Helmiadi, stated in Padang on Saturday.

He noted that the paper test on Saturday morning at 6:00 local time showed negative results. Through Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Number B0117/24 NOTAMC B0115/24 issued by AirNav Indonesia, the airport has resumed operations since 6:20 local time.

However, his side continues to monitor and conduct supervision regarding developments in the Mount Marapi situation through on-field observations at intervals of one to two hours at several points around the airport.

"We carry out monitoring and supervision regularly by coordinating intensively with all aviation stakeholders to ensure that flight operations at BIM can take place safely and bring comfort to passengers," Helmiadi remarked.

According to the office head, if flights continue to operate amid the spread of volcanic ash, it can enter the aircraft cabin and also clog the air speed monitoring system that plays an important part while flying and landing. Furthermore, it can interfere with navigation and other electronic systems.

Moreover, the spread of volcanic ash causes the runway to become slippery, thereby endangering take-off and landing activities, he cautioned.

Lastly, volcanic ash can affect the functioning of the engine (turbine compressor) on an aircraft that could lead to reduced efficiency, Helmiadi pointed out.

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Translator: Muhammad Zulfikar, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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