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Indonesia opening 9 airports in the east

Publication Date : 01-04-2014


Indonesia's Transportation Ministry is set to inaugurate nine new non-commercial airports in the eastern part of the country this year to boost domestic connectivity and accelerate economic growth.

The nine airports are Bawean Airport in Gresik, East Java; Bone Airport in South Sulawesi; Sumarorong Airport in Mamasa, West Sulawesi; Saumlaki Baru, Tual Baru and Kuffar airports in Maluku; Marinda Airport in West Papua; Kamanap and Waghete Baru airports in Papua. Bone and Marinda airports have been in operation since 2013.

The ministry’s air transportation director general, Herry Bakti Gumay, recently said the airports would be launched before the commencement of the Sail Raja Ampat event in June this year.

“The inauguration ceremony will be concentrated in Tual Baru and we are hoping to inaugurate these airports before the Sail Raja Ampat event commences,” Herry said, referring to the annual Sail Indonesia event, which will be held in Raja Ampat, West Papua to develop tourism.

The ministry’s airport director, Bambang Cahyono, said the government had allocated US$224 million from the state budget since 2007 to build 24 new non-commercial airports across the archipelago.

Three of them — Muara Bungo in Jambi, Pekon Serai in Lampung and Pagar Alam in South Sumatra — were inaugurated along with the launch of Kuala Namu International Airport in North Sumatra last week.

Construction of the 12 remaining non-commercial airports is scheduled to be completed by next year.

According to Bambang, the total budget earmarked to build and develop airports this year has reached 5.6 trillion rupiah  (US$492 million), out of the 9.3 trillion rupiah allocated for the ministry’s air transportation directorate general.

“The budget has been allocated both for the completion of the non-commercial airports and for renovations at the existing ones,” Bambang said.

Bambang said it was critical to immediately operate the airports, especially as the Asean Economic Community was set to kick-start in 2015.

“Air transportation development in the eastern part of the country is very important because
some of these places cannot be reached by boats during certain seasons, making them totally isolated,” he said.

“It is highly critical to connect these areas by providing air transportation.”

He also said the nine airports would be gradually expanded to increase their capacities.

He said the ministry also planned to announce the completion of Ngurah Rai International Airport’s expansion in Bali in June this year, along with similar projects at Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and Juanda Airport in Surabaya, East Java.

State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, which manages airports in central and eastern parts of Indonesia, invested 2.8 trillion rupiah to boost Ngurah Rai airport’s capacity from 7.8 million passengers per year at its international terminal to 15.3 million passengers.

It is also increasing the capacity of the domestic terminal at Ngurah Rai from 1.9 million in annual passengers to 9.4 million.

The operator is also increasing the annual passenger capacity at Sepinggan Airport from 1.9 million to 15 million in a Rp 1.7 trillion project.

Around 900 billion rupiah has also has been allocated to build a second terminal at Juanda Airport to accommodate an additional 6 million passengers annually to the existing 8 million.



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