Bali airport to close for 24 hours for Nyepi

PHOTO: Reuters

Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali is set to halt operations for 24 hours on Saturday to observe Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence). The closure will impact at least 482 flights on that day, consisting 244 domestic flights and 238 international flights.

The airport operator says it will stop flights starting from 6 a.m. local time on Saturday to 6 a.m. the following day.

"Like in previous years, we will halt all services at the airport during Nyepi this year. The closure will be for 24 hours until 6 a.m. on Sunday morning," Ngurah Rai Airport general manager Yanus Suprayogi said on Wednesday.

The closure is based on a circular issued by the Transportation Ministry's air transportation directorate general on Sept.1, 1999, on Ngurah Rai Airport's flight activities during the observance of Nyepi.

During the closure, all regular and charter flights from and into Bali will not operate. The Ngurah Rai Airport operator has coordinated with state-run air navigation firm Airnav Indonesia's office in Denpasar to notify all airlines and airports about the closure.

"The airport's closure has been announced to all airlines and airports across the world. We have intensively communicated the plan. They have adjusted their schedules," Yanus said.

He said Ngurah Rai authorities would stay on alert to allow emergency flights to land at the airport. "During Nyepi, we have 368 staff members who will keep working at the airport to anticipate any possible emergency landings, technical problems and medical evacuation processes," Yanus said.