3 flights to Sibu diverted to Miri, affecting 201 passengers

AirAsia aircraft taking off. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

By Nancy Nais

SIBU, Sept 19: Three flights with 201 passengers that were supposed to land at the Sibu Airport early this morning were diverted to Miri due to landing difficulties.

Sibu Malaysia Airport Sdn Bhd (MASB) manager Zainuddin Abu Nasir said the diversion could have been caused by either thick haze or low clouds, or both.

The three flights were Kota Kinabalu-Sibu (Air Asia), Kuala Lumpur-Sibu (Air Asia) and Bintulu-Sibu (MasWings). They were expected to arrive Sibu between 7.30am to 8am.

Explaining the diversion, Zainuddin said when visibility drop below 800m, they have to  declare operation minima as per standard operating procedure.

“The pilot shall decide based on their equipment and other factors such as low cloud ceiling. The low cloud ceiling is a frequent occurrence and often observed early in the morning whole year round for Sibu.

“This is due to the fact that Sibu has a lot of water mass. Therefore, we cannot immediately ascertain that it was due to haze or low cloud ceiling as the single factor.

“It could well be both that constituted to be the reason that caused the visibility drop,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sibu Airport also recorded four cancelled or rescheduled flights. — DayakDaily