The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo aims to build railway connecting airports and nearby city centers all over Indonesia as part of the government's mission to improve land connectivity.
'All of the airports in the country will be connected with [nearby] cities either by train, light rail transit [LRT] or trams,' Jokowi said last weekend in an official statement.
He added that the type of train would depend on the condition of each city.
The plan also includes the ongoing development of railway connecting Minangkabau International Airport and Padang in West Sumatra as well as Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, and Jakarta.
'I expect that both [projects] will be finished by next year,' Jokowi said.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan, who accompanied the president during his inspection of the railway project in Minangkabau airport on Saturday, said that the railway there was 75 percent complete, with 2.9 kilometers already built out of the targeted 3.9 km of rail.
The project was an extension of the regular railway from Duku Station in Padang, West Sumatra, which will connect with a train station at the airport.
So far, Kuala Namu Airport, North Sumatra, is the only airport with its own railway connection with Medan. If realized, Minangkabau Airport would be the second airport to have railway connectivity.
The development of the railway begun in 2012, with a total Rp 127.5 billion (US$9.39 million) of the state budget spent on the project thus far. The airport train station will have a capacity of 1,000 people.
Jonan added that the development of the Minangkabau airport railway was a non-commercial project, unlike the Soekarno-Hatta and Kuala Namu railways, which involved airport train operator PT Railink, a joint venture of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II and KAI.
'All of the equipment such as the railways, the signal and the station are funded by the state budget,' he said, adding that state-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) would be the operator of the Minangkabau Airport railway.
Meanwhile, PT KAI president director Edi Sukmoro said the Soekarno-Hatta airport rail project had also been continuing.
'There has been civil works being done at the airport. It is just an addition [to the existing railway],' he said.
Previously, KAI and Railink have also secured loans for the construction of the Soekarno-Hatta airport railroad from four major lenders including Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Central Asia amounting to Rp 1.45 trillion.
The railway development and its facilities is estimated to require Rp 2.5 trillion in funding.
According to the project design, the airport track will connect Manggarai train station in South Jakarta with the airport. The whole track will be 36.3 kilometers in length, but at present, there is only 24.2 kilometers of track.
KAI will be responsible for acquiring land for the additional 12.1 kilometers of track, expanding existing stations to facilitate passengers.
It will also renovate Manggarai Station and equip it with a separate underpass and platform.
AP II finance director Andra Y. Agussalam has previously said that the company had allocated as much as Rp 140 billion to establish a train station at the Soekarno-Hatta airport complex. (fsu)