Bali

Airport expansion to affect
residential sites

Residential areas and a little part of mangrove forest will likely be affected by the planned renovation and expansion of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The expansion is designed to help solve the problem of a passenger overload at the airport on the resort island.

The residential areas will be torn down to make way for a larger terminal, while the mangrove forest is slated to be converted into a new road to ease traffic congestion around the airport, officials said after a recent meeting on the airport project.

A housing complex, belonging to airport operating company Angkasa Pura I, will be demolished by next February after the State-owned Enterprises Ministry issues its permit, said the company’s general manager Heru Legowo.

“We will demolish 143 houses in the complex currently occupied by Angkasa Pura employees, and we are now conducting an appraisal to calculate the asset values before we start a tender process,” he said.

Legowo said the company would not provide new houses for residents and would only hand out some compensation.

The company’s chief commission Suratto Siswodihardjo said the airport project would be carried out by a consortium of five state-owned enterprises: Jasa Marga, Angkasa Pura I, Pelindo, Wijaya Karya and Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC).

“We have targeted to complete the project by May 2013,” Suratto said.

He said the most urgent part of the project was to build a new road to the airport to ease the traffic gridlock.

“We will start the tender process on December 6. The winning company will construct the road and supporting infrastructure before the start of the expansion of the airport terminal.”

He said the new road was expected to reduce traffic congestion since it would be separated from those heading to Kuta and other areas surrounding the airport.

BTDC director I Made Mandra said it would only need to use around 100 square meters of the mangrove forest to build the new road.

“We have checked the mangrove area we will convert. There are not many trees there. We have also discussed this with the forestry agency, and there is no problem,” he said

“We need to find solution to the traffic problem immediately as we will also host some international high-level meetings, such as the ASEAN Summit in 2011 and APEC meeting in 2013,” he said, adding that he had heard many complaints from tourists regarding traffic congestion around the airport.

The expansion project will consist of constructing a new international terminal and converting the current international terminal to a domestic terminal.

Currently, the domestic terminal is overloaded, accommodating 4.5 million passengers per year or three times its normal capacity.

The project will be equipped with a three-story parking lot capable of accommodating 1,500 cars.

By 2013, the airport’s terminals will have a total space of 190,000 square meters and be able to cater 20 million passengers a year.

The airport recorded 76,797 domestic and international flights carrying 9,625,433 passengers in 2009.

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