The West Nusa Tenggara ( NTB ) provincial administration is optimistic that the Lombok International Airport ( BIL ), located 40 kilometers southeast of Mataram, will be in operation by Oct. 1.
“We are on schedule, and by Oct. 1, BIL will start operating. Once complete, BIL will be the only international airport built without using funds from the state budget,” NTB Transportation Office head Ridwansyah said in Mataram on Thursday.
Vice President Boediono visited the project site during his tour of the province on July 11.
The airport project, worth Rp 945.8 billion ( US$111.2 million ), is financed by state-run airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I ( Rp 679 billion ), the NTB provincial administration ( Rp 110 billion ) and the Central Lombok regency administration ( Rp 40 billion ).
Ridwansyah said the airport’s physical construction had reached the final stage and would be completed by the end of this month.
He added that to ensure the airport was operating by Oct. 1, his office, along with relevant agencies, would start informing airlines and the public about the airport’s standard operational procedures ( SOP ).
“According to regulations, the publication of SOP is 56 days before operation, so we will start disseminating information on July 28,” he said.
The airport area spans 551 hectares. It is equipped with a 2,750-meter runway and can accommodate Airbus 330 and Boeing 767 jetliners, and accommodate 10 aircraft at once.
The plan is for BIL to replace the Selaparang Airport in Mataram, which does not have sufficient capacity.
Selaparang can only serve 800,000 passengers annually, while based on data, the number of passengers has currently reached 1.3 million annually.
The passenger terminal at BIL spans 21,000 square meters, which is four times the size of that at Selaparang, and can accommodate up to 3 million passengers annually.
“BIL will further open international access to NTB. Besides that, we will also serve hajj departures from BIL, serving pilgrims from NTB, East Nusa Tenggara and Bali, who have been embarking via Surabaya thus far,” Ridwansyah said.
“On the eve of Sept. 30, the process of moving Selaparang to BIL will be carried out simultaneously until it starts operating on Oct. 1,” he said.