KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — The volcanic eruption at Mount Ruang in Indonesia has resulted in the formation of ash clouds moving towards the Kota Kinabalu Flight Information Regions (FIR), posing a risk to aircraft safety in that airspace, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

As such, CAAM chief executive officer Datuk Captain Norazman Mahmud advised airlines and aircraft operators to continuously monitor meteorological updates, advisories and information related to volcanic ash issued by the authorities.

“CAAM has issued safety information regarding the Volcanic Ash Hazard Warning in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, which has impacted flight operations in the Kota Kinabalu FIR,” he said in a statement today.

He said this safety information was issued following the eruption of Mount Ruang in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, which began at 9.45am on April 16.


Norazman also advised the public booked on flights in the affected area to stay informed about developments in volcanic eruptions and the current status of flight schedules issued by airlines.

He advised air operators to closely monitor meteorological updates, volcanic ash advisories and the Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) issued by the relevant authorities.

“All aviation stakeholders need to remain vigilant, exercise caution and implement appropriate measures to mitigate the potential impact of volcanic ash on flight operations.


“CAAM will continue to monitor the situation and will notify its aviation stakeholders accordingly should there be any development,” he said.

Furthermore, he also noted that airports within the affected area, including Tawau and Lahad Datu, should implement measures to mitigate the impact of volcanic ash on ground operations, such as regular monitoring of runway conditions and implementing appropriate cleaning procedures.

He pointed out that air traffic controllers shall coordinate with adjacent Air Traffic Control (ATR) units to manage reroutes effectively, ensuring seamless transitions for aircraft entering or exiting the affected FIRs.

“Volcanic ash clouds can cause severe damage to aircraft engines and aircraft systems, leading to potential engine failure, reduced visibility and damage to critical components,” he said, adding the ash could also interfere with aircraft avionics, posing a serious threat to flight safety. — Bernama