Heavy rains on Thursday, December 18, 2003, were so severe as to temporarily disrupt flight schedules operating in and out of Bali's sole airstrip.
Nearly 20 flights operating between the morning hours 08:00 – 12:00 on Thursday were delayed by unusually severe rain fall that reduced visibility on the ground to below acceptable minimums.
Pilots on the ground and control tower staff reported visibility of only 1,000 meters, half of the minimum 2,000 meters for safe taxi and take off procedures. According to airport authorities, planes inbound to Bali were diverted because of visibility issues and concerns that the torrential rain would affect safe operation of jet engines.
The flights delayed from taking off were largely those operated by Garuda Indonesia and Star Air. On the inbound side, a number of flights were diverted to alternate airports with better weather conditions with at least 4 flights suspended for a period in holding patterns above the airport hoping for the rains to ease.
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