Airports are usually the first
impression of a tourist’s vacation. This destination introduction concept has
informed the development of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The airport is currently undergoing a
major expansion with the construction of a new international terminal, a
parking lot and slight modifications to the runway. The physical construction
phases are projected to be done by May 2013, in readiness for the APEC
(Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) CEO Summit this October.
“Ngurah Rai Airport will be
equipped with state of the art facilities,” said Trubus Suharsono, Bali
international airport project development (PPBIB) head of public relations.
Managing company Angkasa Pura has
spent Rp 2.8 trillion (US$291 million) to reach their target of becoming be one
of the top ten airport operators in Asia with Ngurah Rai International Airport
as their crowning jewel.
The airport’s design is contemporary but
many details are reminiscent of traditional Balinese architecture. The building’s
outer walls feature pillars shaped like a bale kul-kul in the Balinese temple
complex style. Balinese gateways (Candi Bentar) will also decorate the roads.
A “sea wave” is seen in the design of
the new international terminal’s rooftop and the multi-story parking lot, mirroring
the terraced paddy fields so commonly found across the island.
“[It has been] designed by a group of
local architects, using consultants from PT Indulexco in a joint operation with
[architecture firm] Atelier 6,” Trubus explained.
The new airport is designed to be
eco-friendly. The new terminal’s rooftop will use a glass-like heat absorbing
material that illuminated the building
with the sun’s rays during the day, thus minimizing the use of electric light
as well as the torrid effect of sunrays.
Storm water collected on the roof
will be used in the terminal’s toilets. The parking lot will have plants on its
roof and vines on its walls to expedite air circulation.
The new terminal will be equipped
with indoor parks and travelators. It will be the first terminal in
Indonesia to use Baggage Handling System (BHS) and Hold Baggage Screening (HBS)
system. These technologies allow the passengers’ baggage to be processed using
automated conveyor belts and high-level security system.
“We will implement all the basic
facilities required of an international airport: It will be just like Changi
Airport,” said Trubus.
If all goes well, Bali might finally
have an airport worthy of its reputation as world-class tourist destination.