The Indonesian authorities have raised the state of Mount Agung in Bali to its highest level (Level IV), since 06:00 ICST. The National Disaster Agency (BNPB) explained there have been continuous ash clouds, sometimes accompanied by explosive eruptions and weak sound of ‘boom’. The rays of fire are increasingly observed at night, which indicate that larger potential eruption is imminent.
AirNav Indonesia Operational Director, Wisnu Darjono, stated that the volcanic ashes have hampered Denpasar’s airspace, to ensure the aviation safety, the airspace needs to be temporary closed.
The main airport in Bali, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is closed temporarily from Monday morning (27/11) at 07:15 ICST to Tuesday morning (28/11) at 07.:00 ICST. The notification being sent out by National Air Navigation Service (Airnav Indonesia) in Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) number A4242 / 17.
The authorities have diverted all inbound and outbound flights headed for Bali to ten other airports, namely Surabaya, Banyuwangi, Lombok Praya, Kupang, Balikpapan, Manado, Makassar, Solo, Ambon and Jakarta. These will serve as alternative airports for aircraft en route to I Gusti Ngurah Rai / Bali Airport.
As popular tourist destination in Indonesia, the halted operation of I Gusti Ngurah Rai / Bali Airport will affect many travelers, but the authorities have prepared 100 buses to take passengers to Banyuwangi, Lombok or Surabaya, where they can arrange for alternative flights to their next destination.
I Gusti Ngurah Rai / Bali Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim explained, “We try to make the airport as comfortable as possible for the passengers affected. So far we have provided special rooms for them to unpack their luggage and video entertainment so they can relax a bit,”
Airnav Indonesia in coordination with the Indonesian Weather Bureau (BMKG), the Center for Geologic Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG), the National Disaster Agency (BNPB) and observations posts surrounding the volcano continues to monitor developments at Mount Agung and is maintaining a full complement of qualified experts to oversee the quality of the airspace over the island. The latest information will be disseminated to public at the earliest possible.
BNPB spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho appealed people to remain calm, do not panic and be provoked by misleading issues. PVMBG will continue to provide up-to-date information. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the National Armed Force, the National Police, the local government, related government institutions and volunteers are on guard to assist residents.