Integrated resorts to build new world-class attractions, allowed to expand casinos; levies to go up from Thursday, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – The operators of the two integrated resorts (IR) will pump in $9 billion to build world-class attractions, which will include a fourth tower to the iconic Marina Bay Sands (MBS) development, three new hotels, a 15,000-seat entertainment arena and extensions to Universal Studios Singapore (USS).

Meanwhile, MBS and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) will be allowed to expand their casino operations, with their exclusive rights to run a casino here extended until the end of 2030. But their gambling revenue will be further taxed by the Government. In order to rein in problem gambling, casino levies on Singapore residents will be increased. The daily levy will go up from $100 to $150 from Thursday (April 4), while the annual levy is being increased from $2,000 to $3,000.

In a joint statement on Wednesday evening (April 3), the authorities, which include the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that the $9 billion investment is almost two-thirds of the IRs’ initial investment of about $15 billion in 2006.

“In view of the substantial investment and to provide business certainty, the Government has agreed to extend the exclusivity period for the two casinos to end-2030,” they said.

They added that IR operators have been allowed to expand their casinos in order for the new attractions to remain commercially viable, but that any additions will be targeted at “higher-tier non-mass market players, who are mainly tourists”.

If the IRs do expand their casinos to the maximum allowed, it will increase the current gaming space from 30,000 sq m to 32,500 sq m. But with the even bigger expansion of the non-gaming areas, the space taken up by gambling operations at the IRs will fall from the existing 3.1 per cent to 2.3 per cent. RWS is planning to add two new immersive environments at USS – Minion Park and Super Nintendo World – and enlarge the S.E.A aquarium.

A new two-tiered tax system will also kick in from March 2022.

Under the new system, the first $2.4 billion of gross gaming revenue from premium gaming is taxed at 8 per cent, while the rest is taxed at 12 per cent. Similarly, the first $3.1 billion from mass gaming is taxed at 18 per cent, while anything over that is taxed at 22 per cent. If the IRs fail to meet their investment commitments, they will have to pay the higher tax rate on all gross gaming revenue.

On the concerns that the increase casino space may lead to more problem gambling, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that although the problem has not worsened, the Government is nevertheless wary of the dangers.

“While the IRs have been successful on the economic front, we have also been closely monitoring the potential social impact of the gaming segment,” he said.

According to a survey from the National Council on Problem Gambling, the probable problem and pathological gambling rate has decreased from 2.6 per cent when the IRs first opened in 2010 to 0.9 per cent in 2017.

Beyond the higher levies, the two IR operators have also agreed to work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development to study how to help gamblers make more informed decisions on how much to gamble.

IR employees will also be trained to spot gamblers at risk of developing a problem, and refer them to help.

via Integrated resorts to build new world-class attractions, allowed to expand casinos; levies to go up from Thursday, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Title Photo by Zhu Hongzhi on Unsplash

Advertisements

American Citizen detained at Ngurah Rai International Airport for carrying 31 Rounds of live ammunition in Suitcase

Last Sunday night at Ngurah Rai International Airportour Avsec security personnel found a passenger carrying dangerous goods in the form of 31 bullets and 2 magazines in the suitcase,” said the General Manager of PT. Angkasa Pura I (Persero) I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport Branch Office – Bali, Haruman Sulaksono, Monday (1/4/2019) night.

The incident began when a prospective passenger on an international route, which was later known to be Garuda Indonesia flight GA-870, was entering the International Departure Terminal.

While inserting the suitcase into the number 3 x-ray scanner machine in the east wing pre-screening area, officers found there was an oddity in the passenger suitcase in question.

On the scanner machine’s monitor screen, a suspicious item appeared in the form of a gun magazine.

Seeing this, the officer immediately carried out a manual inspection of the black suitcase, which after opening, found dangerous goods in the form of 31 active bullets and 2 magazines.

Aviation Security personnel then took the prospective passenger to the security post on the 3rd floor of the International Terminal for initial information about the existence of bullets and magazine in the suitcase.

 

The man was handed over to the airport police station for further investigation.

Source http://bali.tribunnews.com/2019/04/02/wna-amerika-diamankan-avsec-ngurah-rai-bawa-31-peluru-aktif-di-dalam-kopernya?page=1

Indonesia Tourist arrivals grow 6.12 percent to 1.27 million in February – Business

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has revealed that tourist arrivals hit 1.27 million in February, 6.12 percent higher than the 1.20 million recorded in the same month in 2018.

Meanwhile, in January, tourist arrivals grew 4.80 percent year-on-year.

BPS head Suhariyanto said Malaysia sent the most tourists to Indonesia, followed by China, Singapore, Timor Leste and Australia.

“Malaysia contributed 275,288 tourists. We hope that the tourist industry will spur economic growth,” he said.

Cumulatively, arrivals in January and February were recorded at 2.48 million, a growth of 8.19 percent from the 2.30 million tourist arrivals in the corresponding period last year.

BPS data show that the occupancy rate of star-rated hotels in February 2019 was 52.44 percent, a decline of 3.77 percent compared to the occupancy rate in February 2018 of 56.21 percent.

Meanwhile, the occupancy rate of hotels in January 2019 declined by 0.97 percent year-on-year.

The average length of stay of tourists at star-rated hotels was 1.93 days in February, an increase of 0.01 days compared to the same month in 2018.

Indonesia previously set a target to welcome 20 million tourists this year. Last year, a total of 15.81 million tourists visited the country. (bbn)

via Tourist arrivals grow 6.12 percent to 1.27 million in February – Business – The Jakarta Post

Lombok tourism, struggling to fill rooms. Occupancy rate only 32.63 percent in February

Via Jakarta Post
The tourist industry in West Nusa Tenggara – home to popular tourist destination Lombok – has yet to recover following a strong earthquake in July 2018 that devastated infrastructure in the fast-growing province for tourism.

The West Nusa Tenggara chapter of Statistics Indonesia (BPS NTB) said the occupancy rate of star-rated hotels in the province declined to 32.63 percent in February from 32.84 percent in January.

“West Nusa Tenggara tourism has not shown any progress [since the earthquake],” said BPS TTB head Suntono on Monday as quoted by tempo.co.id, adding that in February 2018, the occupancy rate of star-rated hotels was 40.60 percent, meaning the figure declined 7.97 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the occupancy rate of non-star-rated hotels in February was 20.60 percent, a decline of 3.77 percent from the rate in January. The average length of stay in the hotel also declined to 2.16 days in February from 3.16 days in January.

According to the BPS, hotels in the province welcomed 44,654 guests in February – 34,822 domestic tourists (77.98 percent) and 9,832 foreign tourists (22.02 percent).

A total of at 3,588 foreign tourists arrived via Lombok International Airport in February. Malaysia contributed the most tourists during that time with 1,517, followed by China with 670 tourists. (bbn)

via Lombok tourism yet to bounce back after earthquake – Business – The Jakarta Post

 

Minister wants new players in jet fuel business to bring down airfares Via – The Jakarta Post

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said he wants to push for the emergence of a new player in the jet fuel or avtur business in an effort to lower airfares and boost tourism in the country.

One company that had expressed interest in becoming an avtur supplier is a joint venture firm established by publicly listed fuel trader PT AKR Corporindo and British energy giant BP.

“Why do we have to wait so long?” he said on Wednesday, adding that the government currently only saw AKR Corporindo as a potential new player in the domestic avtur market.

The market is currently dominated by state-owned energy company Pertamina.

He noted that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry was the institution authorized to issue permits for the avtur business.

Luhut said the government would introduce a policy to lower the avtur price by cutting both value-added tax and income tax.

The government wants to push down the avtur price as part of an effort to bring down airfares. Lower airfares are deemed necessary to help develop the tourist industry in many parts of the country.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered the relevant officials to bring down airfares in early February in response to complaints by restaurant and hotel owners over low occupancy rates in a number of destinations.

He even criticized Pertamina for “monopolizing” the avtur business that was blamed for the high price of the commodity.  “Because of a monopolistic market, the price isn’t competitive. Many want to sell avtur, and it will lead to lower prices and encourage efficiency.” Jokowi said. (bbn)

via Minister wants new players in jet fuel business to bring down airfares – Business – The Jakarta Post

Whats Happening with all the public parks in Bali | Bali Tribune

TRIBUN-BALI.COM, DENPASAR – In Bali at this time many parks have been created, starting from the smallest scope such as at home, the road to the road to the city parks.

City parks for example, their existence is considered very important for the community.

Besides functioning as a green open space, the park is also used for recreational facilities for city residents.

It’s just that the maintenance of this park is still considered very lacking because the government only disbursed development funds and did not guarantee maintenance funds.

“Only at the outset was the maintenance built not supported by funds from the government,” said I Gusti Ayu Agung Rai Asmiwyati, Chair of the Bali Regional Landscape Architecture Association (PD IALI).

Asmi said when met by Tribun Bali on the sidelines of the How To Maintain Your Garden Workshop at the Experimental Garden of the Faculty of Agriculture, Udayana University, Sunday (03/24/2019).

For him, the lack of maintenance of this park will have an impact on many things, one of which is the appearance of the park to be less than optimal.

In addition, it can also endanger the safety of the park users themselves because there is no regular pruning.

Asmi also reflected on the many incidents of fallen trees that often occur especially in the rainy season.

Several incidents of this fallen tree have taken the lives of the people.

“Eventually, people lost their lives, who lost (and) who was responsible. Now those things that we want to improve little by little through workshop activities ,” he explained.

Through this workshop , park keepers are expected to have the same operational standards.

Later each landscape architect will also be encouraged to be certified to guarantee work in terms of quality.

In the process, the IALI Bali organization will also protect landscape architecture workers who take certification.

With this certification landscape architecture staff can use it to take jobs both at home and abroad.

“By attending workshops, they also get certificates and they can use them for certification,” said Asmi. (*)

via Parks in Bali, Asmiwyati: Only Initially Built, After That Maintenance Is Not Supported – Tribun Bali

Public parks and spaces are something we just take for granted in developed countries. But in Bali the paid for tourist attractions really dominate in terms of visibility and accessibility. -EdTBNW

Some Free Park Ideas Below with links… You’re welcome.

Lapangan Puputan Badung

Google Maps Link

City park featuring a jogging track & fitness areas along with a large field for recreation.

AddressDauh Puri Kangin, West Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali 80232

Hours

Open 24 hours

Lumintang Park Denpasar

“At night you can see dancing water fountain with indonesian music.”
“Verry good location for social interaction in denpasar city”

AddressDauh Puri Kaja, North Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali 80233

Hours

Open 24 hours

Peace Gong Parks Kertalangu

“They devide the area to 3 kind of fishCatfishGiant catfish and Bawal fish.”
“Wide parking space, good place for a cup of coffee or attending events.”
“Here is suitable for carry out activities likes familygathering for company.”

Google Maps Link

AddressBy Pass Ngurah Rai Street No.88X, Kesiman Kertalangu, East Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali 80237

Hours

Open 24 hours

Ministry wants all destinations certified for sustainability – Indonesia – The Jakarta Post

The Tourism Ministry has plans in store to have all tourist destinations in Indonesia certified for sustainability to become world-class destinations.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the ministry’s Sustainable Tourism for Development (STDev) program, based on Ministerial Regulation No. 14/2016, adopted the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) worldwide standards for sustainable travel and tourism.

The Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) event, held for the third year running this year, is meant to help achieve the target. Offering a total prize of Rp 1 billion (US$70,522), the award is the ministry’s way to express appreciation for and evaluate the implementation of sustainability in the management of tourist destinations in Indonesia. It involved 176 destinations last year.

ISTA 2019 will open its registration (https://sustainable.indonesia.travel./en/) from March 18 to May 18, and the selection phase will follow. The winners will be announced on Sept. 27, coinciding with World’s Tourism Day.

“ISTA is an early step to certification,” Arief said in a statement. “I’ve formed a sustainable tourism acceleration team, led by Valerina Daniel.”

Meanwhile, Valerina said the program was aligned with sustainable development goals and with the government’s National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN).

“We’re limited to providing guidance for travel destinations for now, but we’ll add rules on the standardization of sustainability for [hospitality] industries, including hotels and travel agents, in the future,” said Valerina.

Additionally, the ministry has formed the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Council (ISTC), which will certify destinations – beginning with the winners of ISTA 2017 and 2018 – that are deemed to meet the required standards and have been acknowledged by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Sustainable tourism takes into consideration three main aspects, namely environmental, social and economic concerns. It is also known as the people, planet, prosperity and management approach. It focuses on several elements, including environmental and cultural conservation. (wir/kes)

via Ministry wants all destinations certified for sustainability – News – The Jakarta Post

Not saying that Indonesia doesn’t have its problems, it has many.  But hold your ankles and hide because the Eco-fascists are coming.. -EdTBNW

Bali punk rock icon Jerinx chides trashy tourist behavior in Kuta, suggests filtering system | Coconuts Bali

Jerinx, the tattoo-covered drummer-cum-activist from Bali punk rock band Superman is Dead, publicly criticized the anti-social behavior of Kuta tourists via his personal Instagram account, tagging Governor Wayan Koster in the controversial post.

View this post on Instagram

Ayo tag @gubernur.bali @giri.prasta agar mereka jengah dan turun langsung ke lapangan! Fakta: Turis-turis bermental white supremacy macam ini membuat Kuta makin tahun makin sepi. Turis-turis berkualitas cenderung memilih menghindari Kuta akibat perilaku para white trash ini. Tahun 2013, bersama para ketua pemuda dari 11 banjar di Kuta, saya coba cari solusi atas isu ini; menemui beberapa pejabat hingga menemui Gubernur saat itu @mademangkupastika – yg ternyata hanya memanfaatkan kami/saya utk kepentingan kampanye nya; diundang ke Simakrama, dipaksa foto bareng, tanpa ijin foto tsb diexpose media seolah saya pro Mangku, tapi TAK SATU PUN permintaan kami sebagai warga Kuta dipenuhi. Jika @gubernur.bali @giri.prasta benar sayang Bali, ayo lekas susun sistem filterisasi turis yg masuk Bali. Mayoritas warga Bali pasti support 100% Perlu diketahui juga, banyak dari turis white supremacist ini membuka bisnis di Bali dengan taktik marketing yg rasis. Contoh paling simpel: membuka puluhan studio tato dgn penanda/stiker bertuliskan OWNED BY AUSSIE, sementara seluruh staff nya lokal. Buat apa coba kalau bukan utk merendahkan studio tato milik lokal? Saya sudah 3 tahun tidak bermain di bisnis tato, jadi contoh di atas tidak ada unsur kompetisinya. Murni karena saya sejak lama sudah MUAK dengan perilaku para PENJAJAH berkedok turis ini. Ini Bali. Ini tanah air kita, di sini kita bukan turis. Tapi lama-lama kok orang Bali seperti dipaksa merasa terasing di rumahnya sendiri. Repost @tele.bali Kebiasan buruk bule-bule di Bali yg merasa dirinya superior. Padahal biasanya model seperti ini di negara mereka, levelnya poor class. Sejak bebas visa, Bali makin dibanjiri turis2 reject dan berkelakuan norak Selamat pagi teletabis. Kalo liat turis kayak gini lagi jangan ditolerir ya. Ingetin dia kalo kelakuannya itu katrok. Bila perlu, setset butuhne. Paham sat?! #TeleBali #SatTLBL #tele.bali

A post shared by JRX (@jrxsid) on

The photo, which was reposted by Jerinx from @telebali two days ago, shows a caucasian man blocking the road and holding up traffic, presumably in some kind of drunken stunt. In his lengthy caption, the drummer said that it’s this kind of delinquent behavior that’s putting ‘quality’ tourists off his neighborhood, Kuta.

“Fact: This kind of white supremacy mentality of tourists makes Kuta increasingly quiet. Quality tourists tend to avoid Kuta due to the behavior of the white trash,” reads part of the caption.

I’m not so sure its a white supremacy thing, however it reeks of drunken dipshit idiot tourist thing. This is exactly why I avoid the area after dark like plague. -EdTBNW

It’s true that Kuta has a bit of a reputation for attracting rowdy tourists and Australian high school graduates on “schoolies,” and it’s no wonder with the affordable accommodation options and late-night bars selling cheap booze. Coconuts Bali has reported on a number of incidents involving loutish foreigners, including a street-side smackdown between two shirtless muscle men, and an allegedly ‘shroomed-up woman wandering zombie-like into the Kuta traffic.

According to Jerinx, the problem started in recent years after the government allowed tourists from a number of countries, including Australia, to enter Indonesia without having to pay for a visa.

“Since it’s been visa-free, Bali has been flooded with rejects and tacky behavior,” he wrote. “If you see tourists like this, don’t tolerate this. Remind him if his behavior is causing a mess,” he writes.

Its sometimes best not to argue with drunken idiots after dark. Its how fights generally get started in the wee hours…. generally. -EdTBNW

Foreign business owners in Bali also come under fire, with the impassioned rocker accusing them of racist marketing tactics.

“Please also note, many of these white supremacist tourists open businesses in Bali with racist marketing tactics. The simplest example: opening dozens of tattoo studios with a marker/sticker that says “OWNED BY AUSSIE,” while all staff are local. Why try if it’s not to demean a locally owned tattoo studio?” he writes.

Yep agree shut them down if foreign owned. But at the same time, that could also be clever marketing by locals  EdTBNW

Jerinx appealed to Governor Wayan Koster and Giri Prasta, the Regent of Badung, to do something to improve the situation.

“If@gubernur.bali @giri.prasta really loves Bali, let’s quickly arrange a filtering system for tourists entering Bali.”

Exactly what kind of filtering system he meant, or how it would be implemented, was not explained in the post.  -COCO 

Perhaps exclude people with home addresses by postcode…. Frankston, Altona, Redfern, Taree, Darwin, Hastings and anyone called Shazza or Wayne etc etc -edTBNW

Jerinx is part of Kuta-based punk rock icons Superman is Dead, an award-winning three-man band that has taken their music on tours to Australia and the US as well as throughout Indonesia.

He’s known as a controversial figure, and is one of Bali’s most openly opinionated musicians. Together with his bandmates, he has campaigned tirelessly against the Benoa Bay reclamation project, appealing personally to President Jokowi, and rallying fans for the cause.

So embarrassing seeing the meltdowns, public vomiting, hooliganism and the regular poleaxed vampires out in force in Kuta… But the reason I don’t see anything being done is that, its a massive gigantic cashcow for Indonesia and its foreign exchange reserves.  -EdTBNW

Head on over to coco and give them some love via Bali punk rock icon Jerinx chides trashy tourist behavior in Kuta, suggests filtering system | Coconuts Bali

Iconic Sanur Grand Inna Bali Beach hotel gets Rp 2.8t facelift – The Jakarta Post

Grand Inna Bali Beach, Bali’s first five-star hotel and one of the island’s most iconic man-made constructions, is getting a massive facelift as its parent company embarks on a Rp 2.8 trillion multi-stage expansion project.

The four-year-long project will transform the hotel and its premises into a sprawling and luxurious resort offering several hotels with more than 1,000 rooms and 73 premium villas, including a presidential villa. It will also boast a convention facility that can accommodate up to 10,000 people, a lifestyle art market, an eco-park on 16 hectares of green and forested area, as well as a pier and a helipad.

Upon the completion of the project, the area will be re branded as Kawasan Hotel Indonesia Bali, the largest tourist resort in Sanur.

“This is a very historic hotel, the construction of which was initiated by our founding father, President Soekarno, who envisioned Bali as the center of Indonesian tourism. Hopefully, this major revitalization project will bring Sanur, Bali and us closer to his vision,” State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said Friday morning in Sanur.

A few minutes earlier, Rini officiated the groundbreaking ceremony of phase 1 of the expansion. The ceremony was also attended by Bali Governor Wayan Koster and PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN) president director Iswandi Said. A state-owned enterprise, HIN owns and operates 14 hotels across Sumatra, Java and Bali.

Phase 1 will see the construction of two three-star hotels on a 2.4-hectare plot of land on the southern edge of the premises. Bali’s prominent architect Popo Danes is tasked with designing the properties and he will incorporate Sanur’s signature visual elements to the design.

“The lobby will be graced with a canopy in the shape of a janggan,” he said, referring to the traditional long-tailed dragon-head kites that rule Sanur’s sky during the windy months of July and August.

Read also: Bali hotels make Luxury Travel Intelligence list of world’s best new luxury hotels of 2018

The hotels are expected to open in November 2020, with one designed to be a city hotel and another a resort

“Once these hotels are ready, staff and workers of the Grand Inna Bali Beach will be transferred to these hotels and we will commence the renovation of the Grand Inna Bali Beach building,” stated Iswandi Said.

Built in 1963, the 523-room Grand Inna Bali Beach was one of the first hotels that graced the white-sandy beach of Sanur, once a quiet village populated by fishermen and Hindu high priest families. Its tall, 10-story building rose to become a visual icon frequently featured in numerous publications and postcards in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the late 1970s, the Bali administration issued a building code setting the maximum height of a building at 15 meters, making Grand Inna Bali Beach the tallest and the only 10-story hotel on the island.

“We have carried out a technical review of the structure of Grand Inna Bali Beach and it is still safe. Therefore, much of the planned renovation project will deal with the interior of the hotel,” Iswandi Said added.

The revitalization project will be carried out by PT Hotel Karya Indonesia, a consortium of four giant state-owned developers: PT Waskita Realty, PT Hutama Karya Realtindo, PT PP Properti Tbk. and PT Wika Realty Tbk. (wng)

via Iconic Grand Inna Bali Beach hotel gets Rp 2.8t facelift – News – The Jakarta Post

Bali hotel occupancy rate 50% | Badri DPC DRI Chair – Gusti Suryawijaya

The Chairperson of the Badri DPC DRI, I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, explained that Bali has an over supply of accommodation especially tourist accommodation.

IMG_2617
Hotel Double 6

“Just imagine, the number of rooms in Bali is a total of 145 thousand and 102 thousand of them are in Badung,” he said in Badung, Wednesday (03/14/2019).

“Then this year’s target for foreign tourists (tourists) is expected to be 7 million.”

“I calculated, with a length of stay of only 4 days, the average occupancy rate is still 60-65 percent.”

This situation is quite challenging, coupled with the loss of foreign tourists after the closure of shops suspected of cheating by selling cheap tour packages to Chinese tourists in Bali.

“So if only 7 million is reached this year, occupancy can increase from 50 at the beginning of the year to 65 percent,” he said.

The target of 7 million foreign tourists to Bali is also a moderate target, given that 2018 foreign tourists visit only 6.2 million.

P1030463[1]
Lush Rice Terrace
Although the Tourism Ministry hopes that Bali can be visited by 8 million foreign tourists in 2019.

“In fact, I am optimistic that it will be 6.8 million foreign tourists,” added Gusti Suryawijaya who is also Chairman of the Badung BPPD. (*)

Originally reported then adapted to English from http://bali.tribunnews.com/2019/03/14/begini-kondisi-tingkat-hunian-di-bali-versi-ketua-dpc-phri-badung-singgung-penutupan-wisman-china

 

 

Donald Trump: Boeing 737 MAX planes to be grounded in the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the country will ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. “We’re going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition regarding all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9,” Trump said. The move comes amid mounting pressure to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, which have been involved in two catastrophic crashes in the past six months. Over the weekend, an Ethiopian Airlines crash killed 157 people, while in October a Lion Air accident left 189 dead.

Thailand’s North choking on toxic haze from fires, Asia News – AsiaOne

BANGKOK – Thailand’s North was once again choking in dangerous levels of PM2.5 dust particles on Monday (March 11).

For instance, tambon Wiang Phang Kham in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district cited the day’s PM2.5 peak at 128 micrograms (mcg) per cubic metre of air, more than double the Thai safety limit of 50mcg.

As of 11am, the district also hit an Air Quality Index (AQI) score of 238, more than double the safety limit of 100.

The harmful haze was worsened by smoke from forest fires on the Myanmar side, with a satellite image on Sunday showing 1,035 hot spots in the neighbouring country, and 516 in Thailand (123 of which were in the North, with only two in Chiang Rai).

With border district Mae Sai topping the North for PM2.5 levels for two consecutive days (128mcg on Monday and 80mcg on Sunday), residents were told to avoid outdoor activities.

Chiang Rai Governor Prajon Prachsakul, meanwhile, urged local officials to implement problem-solving measures and coordinated with the Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee in an effort to get Myanmar to strictly implement measures against outdoor burning and forest fires.

According to the Thai Pollution Control Department, PM2.5 particulates in the nine northern provinces ranged from 29mcg to 117mcg as of 9am on Monday.

Air pollution in tambon Wiang Phang Kham stood at 117mcg at 9am and further worsened to 128mcg at 11am.

Muang Chiang Mai, meanwhile, was once again enveloped in haze, with readings of 58-70mcg after a period of better air since March 5.

The areas with beyond-safe PM2.5 levels included the tambons of Jong Kham (81mcg) in Mae Hong Son’s Muang district; Nai Wiang (81mcg) in Nan’s Muang district and Huai Kon (77mcg) in Chalerm Phra Kiat district; and Chang Pheuk (70mcg) and Sri Phum (58mcg) in Chiang Mai’s Muang district.

Beyond-safe levels were also experienced in tambons Phra Baht (64 mcg) in Muang district |and Ban Dong (75mcg) in Mae Mo district of Lampang; Wiang (56mcg) in Chiang Rai’s Muang |district; Na Chak (66mcg) in Phrae’s Muang district; and Ban Tom (67mcg) in Phayao’s Muang district.

Phayao – in the midst of combating multiple outbreaks of forest fire – reported that officials had put out a fire that damaged 16 hectares in tambon Dongjen of Phukamyao district, which stemmed from villagers lighting fires while poaching for forest products.

Two Bangkok Airways flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son – PG251 at 9.20am and PG352 at 10.35am – were cancelled on Monday due to visibility problems.

Mae Hong Son’s PM2.5 level stood at 91mcg, with the AQI level at 201 as of 11am.

So far, four flights have been cancelled this month due to haze.

A satellite image taken at 1.54am on Monday showed Mae Hong Son province as having 115 hot spots, especially in the three districts of Pai (33 hot spots), Pang Mapha (30) and Muang (29).

These were contributing to a dangerous the PM2.5 level of 81mcg, although Srisangwal Hospital had not yet detected any unusual increase in the number of respiratory patients.

sunset view of mountains
Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

via Thailand’s North choking on toxic haze from fires, Asia News – AsiaOne

12 Billionaires’ Most Expensive Private Jets in the World

Flying in an airplane can be a very uncomfortable experience. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time at the airport, sometimes food might leave much to be desired, sometimes you don’t like a passenger next to you… But billionaires know everything about a luxurious lifestyle. And apart from buying the biggest houses and the coolest cars, some of them also have the most insane jets ever! Wanna take a sneak peek?

Singapore also grounds Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after 2 deadly crashes – Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s aviation regulator has ordered the temporary suspension of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of the country, it said on Tuesday (Mar 12). “The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months,” it said in a statement. The suspension will take effect from 2pm on Tuesday, the regulator said. SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, will be affected by this suspension.


Singapore’s announcement comes after an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet that killed 157 people. A Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed in Indonesia in October last year, killing 189 people. 

Other airlines operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft to Singapore are China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air, CAAS said, adding that it is working with Changi Airport and the affected airlines to minimise the impact to passengers.

“During the temporary suspension, CAAS will gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore,” it said. 
“CAAS is closely monitoring the situation and is in close communication with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulators, as well as Boeing.”

Singapore grounds Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after 2 deadly crashes – Channel NewsAsia

FAA – Boeing 737 MAX Airworthy despite operators and government agencies suspending flights.

UPDATE 10:30AM – Boeing to upgrade software in 737 MAX 8

CHICAGO: Boeing confirmed late on Monday (Mar 11) it will deploy a software upgrade to the 737 MAX 8, a few hours after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would mandate “design changes” in the aircraft by April.

Boeing did not reference Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash in connection to the software upgrade. The statement did express the company’s condolences to the relatives of the 157 people who died, however.

The company said in the aftermath of October’s Lion Air Flight crash it has for several months “been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.” The software upgrade “will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks,” it said

According to the FAA there is nothing wrong with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Below is the statement released on twitter.

12:42 PM – 11 Mar 2019 from Washington DC. 

Mrs. Mitch McConnell will be looking into the Sunday Ethiopian Airlines crash involving a 737 MAX 8s. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Monday that the DOT is “very concerned” about the recent Boeing crashes, is closely monitoring the situation and that she has met with FAA officials to review the crash.

  • U.S. DOT CHIEF CHAO MONITORING RECENT BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES
  • DOT `VERY CONCERNED’ ABOUT RECENT BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES: CHAO
  • CHAO MET WITH FAA OFFICAL TO REVIEW CRASHES, PATHS FORWARD
  • U.S. FAA TO ISSUE NOTIFICATION ON BOEING 737 MAX SAFETY
  • DOT SECRETARY ELAINE CHAO REVEALS PLANS FOR MONDAY NOTICE
  • CHAO GAVE NO FURTHER INFORMATION ON PLANNED 5 PM NOTICE
  • CHAO SAID DOT STILL REVIEWING CRASH, VOWS ACTION IF NEEDED

However, the Transportation Ministry of Indonesia  has temporarily grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft pending airworthiness inspections, following the crash of one of the planes in Ethiopia.

The ministry’s Air Transportation Director General Polana B. Pramesti said the decision was made to ensure the safety of Indonesia’s aviation industry.

“One of the steps that the Air Transportation Directorate General will take is to conduct inspections and temporarily ground the planes to ensure they are airworthy,” she said in a statement on Monday. “This step has been approved by the Transportation Ministry.”

She said the inspections would start on Tuesday and that planes that were found to have problems would be grounded until they were cleared by flight inspectors.

On Sunday, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed in Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board.

The accident took place about five months after a Boeing 737 MAX 8 belonging to Indonesian carrier Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea, killing all passengers and crew.

Currently 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8s are operated by Indonesian carriers:  Garuda Indonesia has one and 10 by Lion Air, the ministry said in the release. Lion Air has bought 14 aircraft of the Boeing 737 MAX series in total, including the one that crashed in late October.

Similarities between the doomed Indonesian Lion Air JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302 crash are actually quite startling.

1. Return to base request

2. Lost contact within less than 15 minutes after takeoff

3. Unstable vertical speed

4. Clear weather

5. Brand new plane The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines Nov. 15

6. Broken up into small pieces over a wide area.

Boeing shares, which have pared their losses throughout the day, dipped on the news.  A determination that the Boeing 737 MAX isn’t safe to carry passengers would however be a devastating blow not just to Boeing but for the broader airline industry. The plane is a “workhouse” for dozens of aircraft carrier, and it’s also Boeing’s No. 1 selling plane: The company is struggling to ramp up production to 57 from 52 planes a month, with an order backlog that’s literally decades long.

Boeing Co

NYSE: BA

400.01 USD −22.53 
Closed: Mar 11, 7:59 PM EDT ·
After hours 399.65 −0.36 (0.090%)