Governor Gave Advance Notice of Nyepi Closures: Spokesman

DENPASAR

Governor I Made Mangku Pastika informed the central government of plans to close the island’s airport for 24 hours on Nyepi, the Hindu day of silence, four months ago, according to a government spokesman.

The head of the Bali Communication and Information Department, I Made Santha, said an official letter was sent by the governor on 30 November 2010 to the relevant ministries in Jakarta, adding that as advanced notice of the closure had been given most airlines should have had time to rearrange their schedules.

“The letter was submitted to the Minister of the Interior Gamawan Fauzi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa, Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi and Minister of Communications and Information Tifatul Sembiring,” Santha said, adding that a copy had also been forwarded to 23 related official agencies in Bali and at the national level.

Nyepi falls on March 5 this year, with all activities suspended for 24 hours.

Santha stressed that PT Angkasa Pura I, the company that manages Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, had already been in communication with domestic and international airlines about the planned closure since well before Governor Pastika wrote to the Jakarta ministries.

By giving early warnings of the Nyepi restrictions, inconvenience to airlines and travellers could be minimised, Santha said.

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