Monday, March 16, 2015

Bali Ngurah Rai airport to be closed during day of silence

The operations at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali will be shut down for 24 hours to commemorate the Day of Silence, which is locally called Nyepi Day, on March 21, 2015.

"The airport operations are shut down every year since 2000 as a regular schedule. The airport will be totally closed for 24 hours," I Gusti Ngurah Ardita, the co-general manager of Angkasa Pura I at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, stated here on Monday.

Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka New Year) according to the Balinese calendar, which in 2015, falls on March 21.

According to Ardita, the airport will be closed from 6 a.m. local time on March 21, 2015, to 6 a.m. local time, on March 22, 2015.

Although the airport will remain shut for 24 hours, it will still be able to handle extraordinary situations such as emergency landings and medical emergencies.

"As Ngurah Rai is an alternative airport for handling specific conditions such as emergencies, and the management will ensure that the security, ground handling staff, and related institutions are ready at any time," Ardita revealed.

The airport management has sent a Notice to Airman (Notamn) number A0068/16, dated January 16, 2015, to all the flight carriers and airports across the world in order to manage the schedules of their flights according to the condition.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport has also coordinated with several institutions, including companies, security offices, and the local officials operating in proximity to the airport.

On the Day of Silence, 258 domestic regular flights will be operated by ten national air carriers and 164 international flights by 23 air carriers.

The last flight to be handled by the airport before shutdown will be served by Korean Air and will be destined for Incheon, South Korea. The flight will take off at 3 p.m. local time, on March 21, 2015.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the country and on an average, handles as many as 47,370 domestic and international passengers per day, or 1,974 people per hour.

"During 2014, the airport handled a total of 17.3 million domestic and international passengers," Ardita claimed.  (Antara)

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