The Archipelago

Vice president wants new
airport completed in time

Vice President Boediono has urged the Kuala Namu International Airport project to be completed on schedule, or by the end of the year.

Boediono expressed his expectation during his visit to the airport in Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, on Friday.

Among those attending the meeting were a number of ministers, such as Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono, Transportation Minister E.E. Mangindaan, Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh, Deputy Public Works Minister Hermanto Dardak, state airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura II managing director Tri S. Sunoko and North Sumatra interim Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho.

Boediono was briefed on the latest development of the airport construction.

The Kuala Namu International Airport is built on a 1,365-hectare plot, located around 3.5 km from the coast, with a capacity to serve 8 million passengers annually.

It will have a 3,750-meter long and 60-meter wide runway, designed to hold wide-body planes, such as the Airbus 380.

A toll road and railway line will be built to speed up access to the airport. However, the supporting project has yet to be realized because of a problem on land acquisition.

“Transportation access is very pressing and should not be delayed as it could reduce benefits when the airport is completed,” said Boediono.

Boediono added he was optimistic the presence of the airport would provide stimulus to the economy in the province.

PT Angkassa Pura II managing director Tri said accessibility to the airport was an obstacle in the final stage of construction. However, he expressed optimism the airport could start operating by the end of the year.

“The airport will start operating by the end of the year,” said Tri.

In Central Java, the Purbalingga regency administration announced that it would immediately build a commercial airport called Wirasaba Airport, which is an expansion of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) base that has existed from the Dutch era.

“The principle permit on the change of status into both civilian and commercial airports has been issued since 2007 by the TNI AU headquarters. We will be able to accomplish the vision to build a new commercial airport in the near future,” Purbalingga Regent Heru Sudjatmoko told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said that Wirasaba Airport was vital for economic growth in Purbalingga in particular and a number of regencies in the southern parts of Central Java in general due to the lack of a commercial airport in the region.

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