Palu Airport Resumes Operation, Prioritized for Humanitarian Efforts
Date 30 September 2018
Indonesian Aviation Navigation Service Operator (AirNav) of Makassar region, through Notice to Airmen (Notam) Number H0778/18 informed that Mutiara SIS al-Jufri Airport, Palu, Central Sulawesi Province, as of Sunday (30/9) at 08:57 Central Indonesian Time, may resume its operation.
“The airport operation is limited to commercial flights but still prioritized for emergency, Search and Rescue efforts and humanitarian purposes,” reads the Notam.
Previously, through Notam Number H0737/18, AirNav in Makassar informed the closure of Mutiara SIS al-Jufri Airport until Saturday (29/9) at 19:20 Central Indonesian Time following the 7.4 magnitude quake and tsunami that struck Donggala and Palu City, Central Sulawesi, Friday (28/9) afternoon and caused damage in several parts of the airport.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto at a coordination meeting at the Ministrys office, Jakarta, Saturday (9/29) morning, said there were cracks around 500 meters out of the 2,500 meter-long runway at Mutiara Airport, Palu.
Wiranto expressed his hope that the remaining 2,000 meters of runway can still be landed by Hercules and lighter aircrafts.
“We will check it tomorrow, so that the airport can be landed by Hercules or lighter aircrafts, so aids can be distributed immediately, particularly makeshift hospitals, tents, blankets, food,” Wiranto said.
Ministry of Transportation has made several efforts to fix transportation facilities after the quake and tsunami that hit the province.
“The efforts were made as a follow-up to Minister of Transportations direction to immediately recover transportation facilities such as airports and seaports so that they can resume operations, both for humanitarian and commercial assistance,” said Head of the Communications and Public Information Bureau of Ministry of Transportation Baitul Ihwan at a press conference at the Ministrys office, Jakarta, Saturday (30/9).
The ongoing efforts include dispatching aid ships containing food and medical supplies from Samarinda, Bitung and Makassar, cleaning the dock area of ??Pantoloan Port in Palu City so that they can operate and humanitarian aid and commercial ships can be docked, as well as checking Mutiara SIS al-Jufri airport facilities after the operational closure. (EN/ES)(MUR/EP/YM/Naster).