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Jakarta Post

Bali airport ready to welcome APEC delegates

  • Wasti Atmodjo

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Tue, October 1, 2013   /  09:40 am

The newly renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport is now ready to welcome thousands of delegates for the APEC Summit, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will be in Bali between Oct. 1-8.

Alfasyah, communication and legal section head of PT Angkasa Pura I Ngurah Rai (PAP), said that the airport management was fully operating the new international arrivals terminal, which is equipped with extra security systems.

Since opening on Sept. 19, the international arrivals terminal has been operating with upgraded services and facilities, including 20 Visa on Arrival (VoA) counters, seven baggage carousels, 26 immigration counters and three customs and excise counters.

'€œWe have been conducting trial operations over the last few days and they worked successfully. The transition from the old to the new system has been running smoothly, Alfasyah said, adding that PAP expected the arriving APEC delegates would not face any problems.

'€œThere will be several hospitality desks at the arrivals terminal to welcome APEC delegates,'€ he said.

For red-carpet welcomes, PAP will provide two VIP rooms prepared for the 21 state leaders and VVIP delegates. The VIP rooms are located within the arrivals terminal.

At departure time, not all delegates will be able to use the new international departures terminal.

'€œThe majority of international departures will remain at the old international departures terminal. Only Garuda Indonesia international flights will use the new international departures terminal,'€ he said.

Security outside and inside the airport buildings has been beefed up.

PAP will be backed up by the Indonesian Army and the police to safeguard this vital facility.

He elaborated that the schedule for airport closures during APEC remained similar, with temporary closures to commercial flights on Oct. 5 and 6, Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.

On Oct. 5 and Oct. 9, the airport will be closed for commercial flights between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Oct. 6 and Oct. 8, the airport will be closed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

'€œThe schedule may change depending on the delegates'€™ flights. There may be some delays or other problems. We have to anticipate any change of schedule and will change existing schedules accordingly,'€ he said.

He said that this information had already been disseminated to all airline companies flying through Denpasar.

'€œMost airline companies have made adjustments to their flight services to Denpasar,'€ he said.

Taufik Hidayat, general manager of Garuda Indonesia Denpasar office, said that the company had cancelled a number of flights to and from Ngurah Rai airport.

'€œBusinesswise, Garuda Indonesia will certainly suffer financial loss, but APEC is in the national interest, we should make it a successful event,'€ Hidayat said.

Ketut Ardana, chairman of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies Association (ASITA), also agreed and said the association had already asked its members to inform their overseas partners about the airport'€™s temporary schedule during the APEC Summit.

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