Laser Lighting, Floating Lanterns and Kites Threaten Aviation Safety at Bali’s Airport

The Bali Airport Authority has issued a warning that the safety of aircraft landing and taking off from the Ngurah Rai International Airport is threatened by a number of outside distractions, including: lasers, drones, floating lanterns and kites.

Photo: Charlie Cole for The Wall Street Journal

As reported by Radar Bali, the Airport Authority for Bali and Nusa Tenggara says that the skies over a 5-kilometer radius from the airport must be sterile of any potential threats to safe aviation.

In fact, the area within a 5-kilometer radius of the Bali airport is termed the “Safe Aircraft Operation Zone” (KKOP). Aviation officials say that the landing approaches for Runway 27 over Benoa, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran and its counterpart Runway 09 over Kuta, Seminyak and Tanah Lot must be free of any hazards emanating from the ground for aviation safety.

Laser lights can disturb the vision of cockpit crews during the critical landing and take-off phase of flight operations. The brightness of the lasers can cause temporary blindness, preventing a pilot and co-pilot from accurately reading the plane’s instrumentation.

According to Yusfrandri, there were four reports of laser lights threatening flight operations in Bali in 2015.

The areas he said that pose the greatest threat to aviation stretches from the beach at Tanah Lot, Seminyak, Kuta and Nusa Dua where laser lighting is often used for outside functions by hotels and resorts.

The aviation officials also warned of the additional danger posed by kites and floating lanterns that can make direct  and potentially catastrophic contact with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.



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