Flights at Penang, Ipoh airports affected by haze

The situaton at the KL international airport in Sepang this afternoon. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A total of 19 flights to and from Penang International Airport (LTAPP), Bayan Lepas, near here, were affected due to low visibility following worsening haze condition, reported Bernama.

LTAPP senior airport manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim said as at 5pm today, four flights were cancelled while eight departure flights were delayed.

In addition, he said two flights were forced to turn back while five other flights, which were scheduled to land, were delayed or diverted to another airport.

“The four flights which were cancelled were Singapore and Taipei return flights,” he said here today.

On the flight diversions, he said a flight from Singapore was diverted to Medan in Indonesia; a flight from Taipei was diverted to Langkawi and three others from Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei were diverted to Kuala Lumpur.

Nadzim said the delayed departures involved flights to Singapore, Subang, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Medan, adding that two flights from Medan and Kuala Lumpur were also forced to turn back.

In IPOH, 1,418 passengers were affected after all flights at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) here were cancelled due to the haze today.

LTSAS manager Mohd Ali Osman said the flights which were cancelled since 9.45am today involved AirAsia’s Singapore-Ipoh-Johor Bahru route; Malindo’s Ipoh-Johor Bahru-Ipoh route and the Singapore-Ipoh-Singapore route by FlyScoot, Singapore’s low-cost carrier.

“Twelve flights, to and from Singapore and Johor Bahru, had to be cancelled for security reasons and flight operations will resume when the weather situation improves,” he said when met by reporters today.

In SINGAPORE, The Straits Times reported that all 12 flights operated by Firefly between Singapore and Malaysia on Wednesday were cancelled due to poor visibility caused by the haze.

A Firefly spokesman said they will monitor the situation for the 12 flights scheduled between Seletar Airport and Subang Airport on Thursday.

It reported that Seletar Airport does not have the ground-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures, which the vast majority of commercial aircraft currently use to provide pilots with guidance for landing.

Malaysia had objected to the introduction of ILS at Seletar Airport, saying it would restrict developments in Pasir Gudang town, which is near Seletar Airport.

It was announced that the Global Positioning System-based instrument approach procedures would be implemented at Seletar to enhance flight safety.

In MELAKA, Bernama reported that two fishermen who lost their way as a result of the hazy conditions at sea were rescued by a group of Indonesian fishermen in the nation’s waters early this morning.

The duo, Putih Dagang, 62 and his son Mohd Shahrul Nizam, 33, not only lost their bearings because the area was blanketed by haze, but had also run out of petrol to get back to Pantai Puteri at about midnight yesterday.

They were 10 nautical miles or an hour from the shore.

The Indonesian fishermen had taken them to Pulau Rupat, Riau, in Indonesia, so that they could buy petrol to continue the journey back to Pantai Puteri.

Putih said that since they had no cash, he was forced to sell about 40kg of ikan cencaru for the 70 litres of petrol that he needed to get back. They left about 8.30am.