"Seven airports have been temporarily closed due to Mount Keluds eruption," Director General of Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation Herry Bakti stated here on Friday.
He noted that the airports were closed as the eruption had scattered volcanic ash in the area, which drastically reduced the visibility.
The volcanic ash also endangers flights as it can damage the aircrafts jet engines, he noted.
He had also issued a "Notice to Airmen," which also resulted in the temporary closure of the airports.
The seven airports that have been closed are Juanda airport in Surabaya, East Java, until 6 a.m. on (February 15), Adisumarmo (Solo, Central Java) until 7.30 a.m. (February 15), and Adisucipto (Yogyakarta) until 7.30 a.m. (February 15).
The others are Ahmad Yani airport (Semarang, the capital of Central Java), which was closed until 6 a.m. (February 15), Tunggul Wulung (Cilacap, Central Java) until 5 p.m. (February 14), Abdurrahman Saleh (Malang, East Java) until 7 a.m. (February 15), and Husein Sastranegara (Bandung, West Java) until 8 p.m. (February 14).
Meanwhile, on Friday, the total flights cancelled were 332 from Juanda, 28 from Adisumarmo, 110 from Adisucipto, 76 from Ahmad Yani, 16 from Abdurrahman Saleh, and 24 from Husein Sastranegara.
The director general explained that the status can still change depending on the movement of volcanic ash.
He added that the thickest ash cover was reported above the Juanda airport, due to its proximity to Mount Kelud.
He reported that the Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta and Ngurah Rai airport in Bali are safe and operational as they are not covered by volcanic ash.(*)