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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Batam airport does not want to become Air Force base

  • Fadli
    Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam, Riau Islands | Thu, April 5, 2018 | 10:14 pm
Batam airport does not want to become Air Force base Ready for takeoff: Hawk 100 and Hawk 200 jet fighters are parked at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands. (JP/Fadli)

The management of Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, confirmed on Thursday that it had received a request from the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) for the construction of a hangar and apron for jet fighters at the airport.

Hang Nadim general manager Suwarso said the airport had received a second letter from the TNI AU requesting a permit in February, following a first letter received in March last year.

He said the airport’s management disagreed with the requested plan, because it was worried that the presence of a military base would change its status as an alternative airport for three countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

“We have conveyed to the TNI AU that the owner of Hang Nadim is the Batam Free Trade Zone Authority [BP Batam]. So this letter will be forwarded to BP Batam,” said Suwarso.

On a mission: Indonesian Air Force pilots walk at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam. Opened in 1945, the airport is equipped with a runway of 4,025 meters, the second-longest runway in South East Asia, after that of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.   On a mission: Indonesian Air Force pilots walk at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam. Opened in 1945, the airport is equipped with a runway of 4,025 meters, the second-longest runway in South East Asia, after that of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. (JP/Fadli)

Suwarso said Hang Nadim’s management was of the opinion that the construction of a hangar for jet fighters at the airport would disrupt its commercial flight activities.

“If it became the home base of jet fighters, Hang Nadim’s status as an alternative airport would be revoked. This has been asserted particularly by the management of Changi International Airport in Singapore,” said Suwarso.

He said its status as an alternative airport gave Hang Nadim significant revenue. In 2017, 20 aircraft that had been scheduled to land at Changi were rerouted to Hang Nadim because of bad weather.  

“The landing fee for foreign planes is four times as high as for local commercial aircraft,” said Suwarso. (dpk/ebf)

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