Soekarno-Hatta airport expansion kicks off
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The expansion of Indonesia’s first international airport — named after the nation’s founding fathers Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta — was launched with fanfare on Thursday with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono leading the groundbreaking ceremony.
Yudhoyono said that the expansion of the biggest international gateway in Indonesia holds strategic significance as the country prepares for full integration into the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
“I urge every party in this country to work together because Indonesia should become strong before the ASEAN Economic Community is implemented.”
Rinaldo J. Aziz, the vice president director of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP II), said the company had hired Paul Andreau, a French architect famous for planning numerous airports worldwide, including Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France; Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China; and Dubai International Airport.
The Rp 7.6 trillion (US$805.6 million) expansion project is intended to increase the annual passenger capacity of Terminal 1, which serves domestic routes, from 9 million to 18 million, and the capacity of Terminal 2 which serves international routes, from 9 million to 19 million.
The annual passenger capacity of Terminal 3, currently designated for budget carriers, will be expanded from 4 million to 25 million, and will absorb half of the total estimated investment.
A new apron is also planned for a 385,000-square-meter plot to accommodate up to 30 wide-body aircraft, such as the Airbus A330 or the Boeing B747. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport currently has four aprons that can handle up to 125 wide-body aircraft.
“We are going to finish the first expansion phase by the end of 2014 so that the airport will be much more comfortable for airline passengers by 2015,” Rinaldo said.
The airport’s total annual passenger capacity would reach 62 million when the project was complete, he said.
According to the Transportation Ministry, the annual number of passengers passing through the airport reached 51.2 million in 2011, more than 132 percent of its maximum capacity of 22 million passengers a year, and has been predicted to reach 54.1 million passengers by the end of 2012.
“We realize that this expansion is not enough, because the number of passengers keeps increasing every year. We have a plan to further develop the airport’s capacity up to 87 million passengers in the future by constructing a new runaway and terminal,” Rinaldo said.
He said that the company was studying several options for additional expansion, including building a fourth terminal and new runway.
The Transportation Ministry’s airport director, Ignatius Bambang Tjahjono, said that AP II would have to spend Rp 4.6 trillion on land acquisition for all the proposed expansions, an amount that he said was too high.
“They have to make the decision next year, because if they cannot not get the land, we need to start building a new airport in Karawang, West Java,” he said.