Archipelago

Official opening of Kuala
Namu likely to be delayed

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is likely to delay the official opening of Kuala Namu International Airport in Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, which is set to take place in September.

The airport’s general manager, Said Ridwan, said Yudhoyono was scheduled to open the airport building on Sept.19. However, he said it was likely that the schedule might change as up to now, the President had yet to issue a presidential decree.

“It’s possible the [official] opening of Kuala Namu International Airport will be delayed because much construction work has not yet been completed,” Ridwan told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

According to Ridwan, floor and toilet polishing had yet to be completed. He predicted it would take at least two months to clean the airport’s floors.

Ridwan said the management was sure the airport’s official opening would be cancelled until all construction work had been completed.

“Let’s be realistic. The airport’s construction work is not yet fully completed. Maybe this is the primary reason why the airport’s opening is being delayed,” said Ridwan.

Kuala Namu International Airport, which is located on a 1,365-hectare area, started its operations on July 25, serving both domestic and international routes.

Since it first began operations, Ridwan said, passenger flows in and out of the airport were very dense. There were at least 235 flights in the airport every day, he said.

“It’s expected that the flow of passengers will increase to 8.25 million per year from 8 million,” said Ridwan. (ebf)

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