Penang air traffic back to normal as haze eases

Penang International Airport was shrouded in haze yesterday. Today, all flights have resumed their usual schedules after visibility improved and API readings declined. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang International Airport was shrouded in haze yesterday. Today, all flights have resumed their usual schedules after visibility improved and API readings declined. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 19 ― All flights at the Penang International Airport (PIA) have resumed their usual schedules after visibility improved and air pollutant index (API) readings declined today.

PIA senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim said no flights were diverted or turned away today.

“Meteorology Department readings showed that visibility has improved compared to yesterday and is now around 4,000 metres,” he said.

He added that they will continue to monitor the situation and update the airlines on the level of visibility regularly.

Visibility yesterday plunged to around 1,500 metres, causing six flights including four passenger planes to be diverted.

The API readings in most districts in the state have gradually dropped since 2am from very unhealthy level to unhealthy level.

As at 12pm, the API readings for Balik Pulau has dropped to 184, Minden to 159, Seberang Perai to 119 and Seberang Jaya to 134.

Yesterday, the API readings on the island went up to 262 in Balik Pulau and 234 in Minden while the readings in Seberang Perai and Seberang Jaya hovered close to 200.

A total of 51 schools were closed in the southwest district of the island yesterday morning while another 111 schools on the northeast district were closed at 12pm.

API readings are categorised as good for between 0 and 50, moderate for between 51 and 100, unhealthy for between 101 and 200, very unhealthy between 201 and 300 and hazardous if more than 301.

The Ministry of Education has announced that all schools in Penang, Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur will remain close today and tomorrow.

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