Jokowi to officiate Silangit International Airport
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set to officiate the upgrade of Silangit Airport in North Sumatra into an international-class airport in October to boost tourist arrivals and promote Lake Toba as a prime destination.
Coordinating Maritime Minister Luhut B. Pandjaitan said on Monday the upgrade of Silangit Airport would help increase air connectivity to support economic and tourism growth at Lake Toba, which had been included in Indonesia's 10 new emerging destinations.
"In October, the President is set to officiate the upgrade. We have to be ready for the expansion," said Luhut.
Luhut said he recently met with investors from China, Japan and Singapore who were keen to invest in tourism infrastructure at Lake Toba.
The upgrade includes extension of the runaway to 2,650 meters from 2,400 meters, the expansion of apron capacity and the airport terminal with a total investment of Rp 369 billion (US$27.7 million).
The new apron will be able to accommodate two Boeing 737-500 planes and four Boeing 737-900 ER planes, while the renovated terminal will have an increased capacity of 1 million passengers from 36,500 passengers annually.
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and private carrier Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air Group have expressed interest in flying to international destinations from the airport, possibly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, to attract tourists, especially from China.
The number of passengers flying to and from Silangit increased threefold in the first half of the year to 124,071 passengers from last year.
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