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NEWS UPDATES 24 November 2009

Indonesia puts key airport projects on priority list

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Airport development projects in Indonesia will be one of the priorities of the Transportation Ministry next year, including the finalisation of ongoing expansion projects at three international airports, and constructing up to 31 smaller airports, reported the Jakarta Post.

The three international airports being upgraded are Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, Lombok International Airport in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi — with a combined project value of more than 5 trillion rupiah ($509 million).

The ministry’s director of airports, Bambang Tjahjono, said over the weekend that the completion of these projects was urgent and would play vital roles in the economy, both in those regions and the nation as a whole.

“Lombok Airport, for example, will act as buffer for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is already very busy,” Tjahjono said in an interview. Lombok is a resort island situated around 70 kilometers east of the world-famous island of Bali. With a 2,750-meter runway, Lombok Airport will be suitable for larger aircraft such as the Boeing 747, Tjahjono said.

The Lombok Airport complex is built on a 551-hectare plot of land, which is almost twice the size of Ngurah Rai. The project is estimated to cost Rp 802 billion, which is being jointly funded by state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I and local provincial and regional administrations.

The project has been accelerated, with the government hoping to make it partly open for the public between December or January at the latest. To the west, Medan’s Kuala Namu Airport is scheduled to be opened next year, following several delays triggered mostly by land acquisition problems.


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