With the inauguration on 23 February of the new terminal at the Kalamarau Berau Airport at Tanjung Redeb in East Kalimantan, access to the legendary dive sites in the Derawan archipelago has now become more comfortable and easier. Tanjung Redeb is the entry point to Derawan, one of the world’s best dive destinations, located in the northern part of East Kalimantan.
Communications Minister E.E. Mangindaan who inaugurated the new Kalimarau Berau air terminal said that the capacity of the airport's terminal has increased significantly from the earlier 864 square meters only to the present 9,100 sq. meters. The urgency to expand the airport was pressed by the surging demand for flights to this area, which is rich in coal mining. If before there were only 500 passengers daily, now this has increased to 1,000 daily during peak days.
Minister Mangindaan confirmed that the Berau Airport is now ready to operate as an International Airport, so that airlines may now fly directly into Berau in particular from neighboring countries.The Kalimarau Berau airport is capable of receiving Boeing 737-300 or similar aircraft, said the Minister.
According to Bisnis Indonesia, 3 airlines fly to Berau, these are Kalstar Aviation, Triganaand Sriwijaya Air, serving the Berau-Samarinda, Berau-Balikpapan, and Berau Tarakan routes. Before closure of Batavia Air, the airline also flew to Tanjung Redeb, but the former airline’s routes have now been taken over by Sriwijaya Air. Citilink has also been urged to open flights to the Kalimarau Berau airport.
Meanwhile, to attract more visitors to Berau, the local government plans to stage the Derawan Festival between July to September, inviting skippers of the Sail Indonesia and Sail Komodo and other yacht rallies to also call on this dive paradise.
The Derawan islands offer soft white sandy beaches fringed with waving palm trees, pristine seas and an amazing underwater life of giant turtles, dolphins, manta rays, dugongs and barracudas, stingless jellyfish and sometimes, whales and wobbegongs. The Derawan Islands are considered the third best dive destination in the world.
In the latest development, Wings Air General Director announced that the airline now serves Balikpapan-Berau starting 1 March 2013, flying ATR 72-500 aircraft. The plane departs Balikpapan at 17.15 hrs local time arriving Berau at 18.35, staying overnight. The return flight will leave Berau the next morning at 07.00 hrs landing at Balikpapan at 08.20 hrs, reports Bisnis Indonesia.
(Source: Bisnis Indonesia, Kompas)
Photo courtesy : http://aeronusantara.blogspot.com
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