Haze forces Kuching airport to close for 2 hours

Hazy conditions and low visibility forced Sarawak's Kuching International Airport (KIA) to temporarily close for about two hours on Monday morning (Sept 28).
Hazy conditions and low visibility forced Sarawak's Kuching International Airport (KIA) to temporarily close for about two hours on Monday morning (Sept 28).PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUCHING (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Hazy conditions and low visibility forced Sarawak's Kuching International Airport (KIA) to temporarily close for about two hours on Monday morning (Sept 28).

Senior airport manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim said the runway was closed at 7am due to the thick haze and reopened for flight operations at 9.10am.

"As at 9am, there are 25 flights cancelled, comprising 12 departures and 13 arrivals. We expect some delays in flight movement and will update from time to time," he said.

Earlier posts on the social media pages of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) said that the airport runway was declared closed by the Department of Civil Aviation and the airport authorities as visibility was only 350m.

It was later updated saying that while the airport was now reopened, all passengers arriving and departing from KIA should check with the respective airlines on their flight schedules as some flights could be delayed.

Air quality in Sarawak's Kuching and Samarahan was at the unhealthy range as at 9am on Monday.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) was 117 in Kuching and 129 in Samarahan.

Seven other areas in Sarawak recorded moderate readings while Kapit had good air quality of 50.

Schools in five states - including Sarawak - as well as the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya were closed on Monday after smoke from fires in Indonesia approached hazardous levels over the weekend.