Airport closure only if visibility drops below 400m: MAHB

11 Sep 2019 / 17:16 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Airports will only enforce the low visibility operating procedures when the horizontal visibility drops below 400m, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

As at 2pm today, the visibility is at 2,000m despite the current haze, said a spokesman of the airport operator.

“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 drops below 400m),” a spokesman of MAHB Holdings told Bernama.

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

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

Last year, Malaysian passenger movements grew 2.5% to 99 million passengers, with domestic and international movements increasing by 0.4% and 4.5%, respectively.

Meanwhile, passenger figures at the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (Istanbul SGIA) rose by 8.8% 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.

As for the first six months of this year, MAHB’s network of airports, including the Istanbul SGIA, handled 67.8 million passengers - a 4.3% year-on-year growth. — Bernama

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