Jakarta – National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has spent thousands of dollars to repair aircraft damaged by kites flown around Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten.
"The cost we incur for both the inspection and repair is around US$4,000," Bernard Partogi Sitorus, the airline's senior manager for incident management, said on Wednesday.
However, Bernard noted that the cost was relatively small a problem compared to the risk caused by such incidents.
Garuda Indonesia reported seven kite-related disturbances out of 59 reports on flight disruptions recorded by state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II between May and July at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The number of kite-related disruptions was relatively high, Bernard said, considering that flight operations were lower than during the coronavirus pandemic.
The seven incidents included one fatal one, where parts of a kite entered an airplane's engine.
Authorities found strings and bamboo sticks tangled up inside the plane's propeller, according to kompas.com.
Indonesia's 2009 Aviation Law forbids flying kites around flight operation areas, with Article 421 of the law carrying a punishment of up to three years of imprisonment and a Rp 1 billion (US$67,925) fine for violations.
Kites have previously been reported to have disrupted other facilities and services, leading authorities to warn the public to be more considerate when flying kites.
In Bali, for instance, police arrested a man in July who allegedly caused a five-hour blackout in three districts after his kite broke and fell onto a substation owned by state electricity firm PLN. (dpk)