Detik.Com reported yesterday that some flights to Batam was being diverted to Pekanbaru due to bad weather and haze. It was reported that a Batavia Air flight from Medan to Batam was forced to land at Pekanbaru at around 13:20hrs West Indonesian Time (or 14:20hrs Singapore time) yesterday (Saturday, 30 September 2006), while another flight, which is a Lion Air flight from Jakarta was also diverted to Pekanbaru and landed there about 10 minutes later.
This is a bit strange, considering the location of Batam's Hang Nadim airport, which is not too far from Singapore, only about 20km away. It's true that the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level in Singapore is a bit high in the last couple of days, however there were no reports of very high haze level or very bad weather which can cause any flight disruptions. A check on yesterday's flight information at Changi airport's website also does not show any cancellations on flights arriving in Singapore during the specified period.
Couldn't be that 20km distance can make such a big difference in terms of weather? Or, could it be?
Update on 3 October 2006, 2:15pm SGT:
In the past two days, the haze has thickened over the skies in Singapore. Forest fires in Sumatra is again becoming the culprit. Let us hope that the Indonesian government can do the necessary actions to prevent this issue from getting worse.