Thursday, 18th September 2014

Padang Airport reopened for commercial flights

Kamis, 1 Oktober 2009 13:45 WIB | 1.913 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Transportation announced on Thursday Padang`s Manangkabau International Airport had resumed operations to serve commercial flights.

"Beginning this morning, the airport has been able to serve commercial flights," Transportation Ministry Spokesman Bambang S Ervan said when contacted here on Thursday.

He said that the international airport was closed on Wednesday evening following a strong earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale which shattered Padang city and killed at least 75 people.

"The airport was closed to allow officials to carry out field checks on its infrastructure facilities to ensure the safety of the flights," Bambang said.

After the field checks were conducted, the airport was declared safe to be operated as of 9.45 pm on Wednesday for non-commercial flights carrying relief aid and logistics.

Bambang said that other important transportation infrastructure facilities such as Padang port, were also affected by the quake.

"The seaport office, piers and a number of lighthouses were damaged. But he could not yet ascertain whether or not sailing is safe in the area," he said.

Roads to the port were also cut off as they were buried by landslides and avalanches.

"We are still in coordination with the Ministry of Public Works in order to cope with this problem so that the access to the port could be restored," he added.

Asked on railway infrastructure, Bambang said he had not yet gained confirmation with regard to railway facilities. "We have no information about railways. The rail tracks in Padang are not for routine travel but for picnic trips," Bambang explained.

The earthquake was reported to have killed hundreds of people but official data released Wednesday night indicated that at least 75 people had been killed.

Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djalam, Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto and Industry Minister Fahmi Idris left Thursday morning for Padang, provincial capital of West Sumatra, to observe all the damage caused by the quake in the province. (*)