Soekarno-Hatta Airport packed with passengers despite government call for physical distancing

first_imgSoekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia’s main airport, was reportedly packed with passengers on Thursday morning despite the government’s call for physical-distancing protocols in public.Social media users posted pictures of the scene at the airport’s Terminal 2 with passengers lining up from early in the morning.“The atmosphere at Terminal 2 of Soekarno Hatta Airport on Thursday morning,” @jktinfo said on its Instagram account on Thursday, referencing a photograph taken by Instagram user @fahlevi.rezaaa. Other social media users also criticized the government, airport management and the congregating passengers for failing to enforce or follow social-distancing measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission.“The combination of the indiscretion of the Indonesian government and its opportunist and reckless citizens will make this country the last to survive this pandemic,” Twitter user @adriansyahyasin posted on Thursday.Kombinasi ketidakbijaksanaan pemerintah Indonesia dan rakyatnya yang oportunis dan gegabah akan membuat negeri ini yang terakhir selamat dari pandemi ini.Berdamai dengan virus katanya, udah McD sekarang ini Bandara CGK 🤦‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/euxy9ENvyH— Adriansyah Yasin Sulaeman (@adriansyahyasin) May 14, 2020“Quite a struggle using flight services in the COVID-19 period. Lining up for more than three hours [where] procedures to keep a distance were not enforced. Can AP [airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II] review […] whether social distancing applies at the airport,” Twitter user @HrytoRicky also posted on Thursday.Cukup berat perjuangan Menggunakan jasa Penerbangan di masa Covid 19 ini, antrian lebih 3 jam, SOP Antrian dgn jaga jarak ternyata tidak berlaku….. mohon di review pihak AP…. apakah dgn cara berdesakan menjadi pembiaran….social distancing apakah berlaku di bandara…. pic.twitter.com/JJdShp13PU— Rick (@HrytoRicky) May 13, 2020Responding to the reports, Angkasa Pura II communications manager Febri Toga Simatupang said that the crowding of passengers occurred at 4 a.m., that it only lasted until 5 a.m. and was caused by an influx of passengers coming for morning flights where 13 departures were scheduled between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. The passengers were lining up to get all their flight documents checked as additional requirements, such as a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or rapid test result, or health documents from a hospital or clinic, as well as a return ticket, are required to fly during the currently indefinite COVID-19 mitigation period.Febri went on to say that the airport officials were overwhelmed by the large number of passengers seeking to get their flight documents checked.“As of now, there are no more lines at Terminal 2. We always try to maintain physical distancing in every area. The application of physical distancing in Soekarno-Hatta will also be evaluated periodically to see the current situation and conditions, which are quite dynamic,” Febri said in a written statement published on Thursday, adding that flight schedules would also be evaluated.To prevent people from going on the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) and to curb COVID-19 transmission, the Transportation Ministry decided to suspend intercity flights for passengers from April 24 to June 1.Read also: Indonesia suspends all passenger travel across cities to prevent Ramadan exodusHowever, the national COVID-19 task force relaxed the restriction on May 6, allowing state officials, private-sector and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) employees who provide essential services, repatriated Indonesian nationals, individuals who need emergency medical care and family members of a deceased person to travel between cities.Following the regulations, airlines announced that they would gradually resume domestic flight services with stricter health protocols, such as requiring pre-flight medical checkups and a letter explaining reasons for travel from a relevant institution.The Transportation Ministry has also limited the passenger capacity of flights, down to 50 percent of the normal flight capacity to help physical distancing and reduce COVID-19 transmission risks.Air Transportation Director General Novie Riyanto reminded travelers that “strict sanctions” would apply to airlines violating the passenger limits as the directorate general had received complaints about violations.“This morning, we immediately followed up [the complaints] by ordering flight inspectors to carry out further investigations into this matter,” Novie said in a written statement on Thursday. “We remind airlines not to make mistakes that put their passengers at risk. The health protocols must be implemented by all aviation stakeholders.” (mfp)Topics :last_img read more

Gulf of Mexico operators evacuate offshore staff ahead of severe weather

first_imgOil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are securing their offshore facilities and evacuating non-essential personnel due to Tropical Depression 16. BP said in an update on Wednesday it was closely monitoring Tropical Depression 16 to ensure the safety of its personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.“With forecasts indicating the system likely to strengthen as it moves to the north, we are now taking additional steps to respond,” the the oil major said.BP has begun securing offshore facilities and evacuating non-essential personnel from the Thunder Horse and Na Kika platforms and the Seadrill-owned West Vela drilling rig in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.Located 150 miles southeast of New Orleans and in 6,050 feet of water, the Thunder Horse platform was designed to process up to 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. This is the third time in less than a month for this offshore platform to be evacuated. Namely, the Thunder Horse platform was also evacuated in early September due to Hurricane Irma and then later that month after a power outage.Before Irma, a number of oil and gas operators were forced to secure their facilities and evacuate offshore staff in August due to Hurricane Harvey.Servicing multiple fields, the Na Kika platform is located 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in 6,340 feet of water. It was designed to process up to 130,000 barrels of oil and 550 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.“Safety is our top priority and we will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps,” BP concluded. No impact on Shell’s production Shell also said on Wednesday it was monitoring Tropical Depression 16. “As a precautionary measure, we are minimizing the number of people working offshore at our assets in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and are taking steps to safely secure our facilities in preparation for potentially severe weather. There are currently no impacts to our production or drilling operations,” Shell added.“Shell works closely a leading weather forecasting organization to model where a storm system is most likely heading and how strong it will be so we can take necessary and effective steps to keep our people, the environment and our assets safe,” said Phil Smith, Shell’s Manager for Emergency Management in the Americas.According to information at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Thursday, Tropical Depression #16 is forecast to become a tropical storm later on Thursday.In its 48-hour outlook on Thursday, the NHC said: “At 200 AM EDT (0600 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Sixteen was located near latitude 13.0 North, longitude 83.0 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue this morning. A north- northwestward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast to begin later today and continue through late Friday.”“On the forecast track, the center of the depression should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras later today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday. The center is expected to approach the coast of the Yucatan peninsula late Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. The depression is forecast to strengthen to a tropical storm before it moves inland over northeastern Nicaragua. Additional strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday.”Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more