The Jakarta Post
The authorities at Sentani Airport in Jayapura municipality of Papua have agreed to pay Rp 156 billion (US$11.5 million) as compensation to the tribes that own the ulayat (customary lands) that part of the airport is built on.
The payment will be made on Tuesday morning in accordance with the agreement, Sentani Airport chief Agus Supriyanto said on Friday. The four tribes owning the ulayat, namely Taime, Palo, Kopeu and Yoku tribes, demanded compensation for the 12.5 hectares of land that the airport's runway 30 sits on, for which the price had been set at Rp 1.25 million per square meter.
"We have prepared the money and we will give it to [officials] from the Jayapura District Court [...] at the Kotaraja Mobile Brigade headquarters," he said.
People from the tribes blocked a taxiway at the airport on Thursday evening. They removed the blockade on Friday at 11 a.m. local time after airport authorities agreed to pay the compensation.
The residents blocked the taxiway using banana trees placed in steel drums positioned it in the middle of the road, disrupting the airport's operations.
Authorities had to ask several airplanes to wait an extra 15 minutes before taking off and landing because of the blockade, Supriyanto said.
The purchase of the land allows for the lengthening of the airport's runway to 3,000 meters, from its current 2,500 meters, allowing larger Airbus planes to land and take off.
Meanwhile, John Taime who represented the four tribes said the residents would make another blockade if the authorities did not pay the compensation on time.
"We will block [the taxiway] for as long as we have to if the authorities fail to abide by the agreement," he said.
Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Cmr. Gustav Urbinas deployed 100 personnel to monitor and secure the blocked area to prevent any avoidable escalation from taking place and to make sure the airport could carry out its operations. (rin)