July 2015 – INDONESIA – Fears over airspace safety let to the closure of four small airports on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, after fresh eruptions from Mt Raung, on the east of the island. Thousands of passengers traveling home for the Muslim Eid festival have been stranded in Indonesia after five airports were closed because of ash spewing from two erupting volcanoes. Meanwhile, volcanic activity on Mt Gamalama, on Indonesia’s North Maluku island, shut Sultan Babullah worldwide airport in Ternate. But there were significant delays, with dozens of flights put back by hours. These include the global airport serving Surabaya, the country’s biggest city after capital Jakarta. “Finally flying”, wrote Twitter user Jack Putera from Surabaya.
Garuda has cancelled all flight to those airports, stating it would only resume services when those terminals were reopened by the “competent authority.” The Transportation Ministry announced that all flights from Juanda worldwide Airport would be grounded from 1:20 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, with incoming flights to be diverted elsewhere during that period, because of the threat of volcanic ash from Mount Raung, which last week severely disrupted flights to and from Bali’s Ngurah Rai worldwide Airport, to the east of the volcano. In recent days, people across the vast archipelago have taken to planes, boats and cars to head to their hometowns and villages by yesterday to celebrate Hari Raya Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Volcanic ash can cause severe damage to aircraft engines. –Sentinel Republic