There will be 12 new airports opening this year, announced Transportation Minister, E.E. Mangindaan at a press conference yesterday, 19 March, with another 7 new airports coming on line next year in 2014 and an additional 5 airports opening in 2015.
This makes a total of 24 new airports by 2015 to boost the country’s infrastructure and air connectivity in line with the Accelerated and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development Plan (MP3EI), said Minister Mangindaan.
The 12 airports to start operations this year are located across the archipelago, with the majority on the far-flung islands in east Indonesia.
Most significant is the opening of the long awaited Kuala Namu International airport to replace the already very over-crowded airport of Medan, in North Sumatra. The airport opening has been delayed caused by problems with land rights for the highway to the airport.
Other smaller airports to open include the Muara Bungo in Jambi on Sumatra, the Waisai Airport at Raja Ampat, - Indonesia’s prime dive destination in Papua - and the Saumlaki Baru in the Moluccas, entry port for yachts and ships from Australia. Others are the Pekon Serai at Krui, Bawean Airport on Bawean island near Madura, East Java, Kuffar airport on East Ceram island, Kamanap airport in Serui and the Waghete Baru on Waghete.
Meanwhile, expansion of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport of Jakarta will be started this year, while expansion on the new terminal in Bali is expected to be completed by June, well before the APEC Summit set for October this year in Bali. Other airport upgrades include expansion of the Juanda Airport in Surabaya, East Java and at Labuan Bajo, West Flores, entry port to the Komodo National Park.
The new Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport terminal when completed will be able to handle 25 million people per year. The new luxurious terminal, with its bright and open contemporary archiecture with traditional features epitomizing Balinese hospitality, covers a total area of 190,000 square meters. The airport will also have a new transit hall, a commercial area and a 3-storeyed parking area for 1,500 cars.
The new toll road connecting the airport to the port of Benoa and the Nusa Dua prime resorts area is also due to be completed this year in time for the APEC Summit.
(Sources: Kompas daily and kontan.co.id)
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