Bali

The airport Bali deserves

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. (rad)

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