Exclusive: Officials Worried President Obama May Have to Cancel Indonesia Trip Due to Indonesian Volcano

Nov 7, 2010 11:36am

ABC News: Ann Compton reports:

ABC News has learned that because of the dangerous clouds of ash spewing from an Indonesian volcano, 48 hours before Air Force One is due to touch down in the capital Jakarta White House officials are concerned President Obama  may not be able to make the trip.

Some commercial flights into Jakarta have been cancelled. 

Flights of government equipment and personnel to preposition in Indonesia are no longer flying during nighttime hours as a safety precaution, sources tell ABC News. That equipment and personnel are necessary for the president to be able to make his visit.

This would be the first time in memory a President could be forced to cancel a stop while he is overseas, and it remains unclear when a White House decision will come and how it will affect the remainder of his Asian trip.

President Obama has already twice cancelled announced plans to go to Indonesia where he lived as a boy. In March he was to take daughters during their spring vacation from school, but he scrapped the overseas trip to work on passage of his health care reforms in Congress.  The second cancellation came in June during the BP oil spill crisis.

In April, on just six hours notice, President Obama had to scrub a trip to Poland for the funeral of the Polish President, because clouds of ash from an Icelandic volcano stopped air travel across a wide swath of Europe. 

The current schedule had President and Mrs. Obama arriving in Jakarta Tuesday afternoon for an overnight stay before continuing on to South Korea and Japan.

- Ann Compton

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