The Archipelago

Pekanbaru airport expansion
almost complete

The Sultan Syarif Kasim (SSK) II Airport expansion project in Pekanbaru, Riau, is nearing completion, with a new terminal spanning 17,000 square meters and a more spacious aircraft apron.

Riau Governor Rusli Zainal said the provincial administration, through the state and provincial budgets, had set aside Rp 50 billion (US$5.85 million) to build the new apron, which can accommodate 10 wide-body aircraft, twice the capacity of the old apron. “The new terminal can be in operation by the end of the month,” Zainal said Tuesday.

According to Zainal, the airport expansion is expected to be finished by the end of the year so it can facilitate two sporting events in Riau, the 18th National Games in 2012 and the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2013.

“The new airport is also in line with the planned haj embarkation terminal project. Riau is expected to have its own haj embarkation terminal by 2013 and will no longer rely on Hang Nadim Airport [in Batam],” he said.

To meet the technical requirements of a world-class airport, Zainal said the airport runway would be extended from 2,200 meters to 2,600 meters. According to Zainal, land acquisition amounting to Rp 19 billion was complete.

“Another Rp 20 billion will be allocated next year for land acquisition to extend the runway up to 3,000 meters so as to facilitate the landing of wide-body planes,” he said.

SSK II Airport’s state-run airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura II general manager Anggono Raras said the airport expansion, which cost Rp 165 billion, aimed at improving facilities for airport passengers, who had reached 2.5 million, or twice the annual capacity of 1.2 million.

“The new airport is designed to serve 4 million passengers annually and is poised to become the busiest and third largest airport in the western part of Indonesia, after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta and Polonia Airport in Medan,” Anggoro said.

In Bandung, West Java, the Indonesian Air Force at Husein Sastranegara Airport is studying the capacity of the airport, which is also serving international and domestic flights.

Husein Sastranegara airbase commander Col. Umar Sugeng Haryono said the capacity of the airport was limited, unlike other airbases such as Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta.

Sugeng said an analysis of the maximum capacity of the airport needed to be conducted so the increasing flights could be adjusted to the airport’s capacity and available facilities. “The size is very limited. This is just an Air Force base,” Sugeng said Tuesday.

Sugeng said so far commercial flights at the airbase were served in a joint-operation with PT Angkasa Pura II. The Air Force is trying to help with the airport’s development in accordance with the economic needs of the provincial administration, he said.

But, according to Sugeng, every additional flight must still be coordinated with the Air Force.

“We must look at the ability to prevent overcapacity, be it the apron or supporting facilities because many factors are related to flight operations,” he said.

PT Angkasa Pura II airport operational head Soetrisno said many flight slots to and from the airport were still vacant, so additional flight schedules could be adjusted with the vacant slots.

The airport currently has 30 take-offs and landings, 12 of which are international flights to and from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore, while the other 18 are domestic flights.

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