Airports closure if visibility below 400m

KUALA LUMPUR: Low visibility operating procedures at airports will be enforced only when the horizontal visibility drops below 400 metres, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

At 2pm, the visibility was recorded at 2,000 metres.

“This visibility is recorded by a piece of meteorology equipment placed at each end of the runway, which measures horizontal visibility, which the aviation world terms as runway visual range (RVR).

“The airport authority may decide to suspend the airside operations on the advice of Air Traffic Control (if horizontal visibility is below 400 metres),” a MAHB spokesperson told Bernama.

In October 2015, the Langkawi International Airport was closed temporarily for over three hours due to haze that resulted in low visibility of only 500 metres, causing hundreds of passengers to be stranded at the terminal.

The Civil Aviation Authority (previously known as Department of Civil Aviation) had said airports in Malaysia are equipped with more modern and sophisticated systems such as Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Surface Movement Radar System (SMR) that are able to facilitate aircraft landing in the haze.

In 2018, Malaysia passenger movements grew 2.5 per cent to 99 million passengers (2017: 8.5 per cent), with domestic and international movements increasing by 0.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport’s (Istanbul SGIA) passenger figures rose by 8.8 per cent to 34.1 million, boosting the total number of passengers handled by the MAHB network of airports to 133.1 million in 2018 — the highest ever recorded.

In the first six months of this year, MAHB’s network of airports, including the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) in Turkey, handled 67.8 million passengers — a 4.3 per cent year-on-year growth. – Bernama

Flights still on for most airports in the country. Photo: Bernama