Operational Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado is temporarily closed. This determination was due to the impact of Mount Ruang volcanic ash located in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi.

The airport's operational closure is carried out through information from ASHTAM with the number VAWR7240 starting April 17 at 19.26 WITA until April 18 at 19.26 WITA.

"We have to close the flight operations of Sam Ratulangi Airport because the spread of volcanic ash can endanger flight safety," said Head of the Airport Authority Office of Region VIII Manado Ambar Suryoko in an official statement, Thursday, April 18.

Ambar admitted that his party will continue to monitor and monitor the development of the Mount Ruang situation and its impact on the surrounding airports.

Furthermore, he said field observations were carried out at intervals of 30 minutes to 1 hour at several points around the airport.

Kejadian ini adalah situasi force majeur, saya berharap masyarakat khususnya calon penumpang dapat memahami jika ada kelambatan dan pembagaran penerbangan. Saat ini yang terdampak 5 keberangkatan dan 4 kedatangan dengan status delay, cancel dan divert, ungkapnya.

Ambar also appealed to airlines to compensate passengers who have purchased tickets, including full refund, reschedule, or re-route options to the nearest airport if seat is still available. This is expected to help passengers affected by airport closures.

Regarding the handling of volcanic eruptions and the handling of the impact of volcanic ash on flight safety operations, the Directorate General of Hubud of the Ministry of Transportation has issued Circular Letter number SE 15 of 2019 concerning the Implementation of Flights in the Condition of Force Majeure.

Then, the Decree of the Director General of Civil Aviation Number KP 153 of 2019 concerning Procedures and Procedures for Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) for Handling the Impact of Volcanic Ash on Aviation Operations through the Integrated Web Based Aeronautical Information System Handling (I-WISH) so that the handling of the force majeure eruption of Mount Merapi refers to the two letters as implementation guidelines.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate with relevant stakeholders in handling this force majeure in order to take the necessary steps for the safety, security and comfort of flights," concluded Ambar.

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