Indonesia’s airport temporarily closed after New Zealand pilot taken hostage by rebels hinh anh 1Photo for illustration (Photo: AFP)

Jakarta (VNA)Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation temporarily closed the Paro Sub-district Airfield in Nduga district, Papua province, after the Susi Air PK-BVY aircraft attack incident on February 7 morning.

An armed group torched the Susi Air plane, coded SI 9368, at the airfield, capturing a New Zealand pilot and five passengers.   

Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said that the airfield is still temporarily closed due to the position of the damaged plane in the middle of the airfield, (thereby) making it impossible to operate flights to or from Paro.

She said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, through the Head of Merauke Region X Airport Authority Office, continues to coordinate and monitor developments of the attack on the Susi Air aircraft.

Until now, the exact whereabouts of the pilot and five passengers remain unknown, she said.

According to Irawati, in responding to this incident, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation took steps to further improve security.

Airport administrators were asked to coordinate with local security forces and be more vigilant by checking entry permits for people before entering the restricted security area of the airport.

Air transport operators must intensify passenger checks including boarding passes, identities, and luggage for flight safety.

Meanwhile, all airfields located in Nduga district, managed by the regional government, were urged to coordinate with security forces in granting flight permits./.