The Jakarta Post
Former United States president Barack Obama arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a family vacation. His Gulfstream G-V N50JE aircraft landed at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali at 6.52 p.m. local time, or a bit late from its initial schedule of 5.55 p.m.
Wearing a blue T-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers, Obama was seen relaxed and smiling when he embarked from the plane, witnesses reported. Meanwhile, former First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans walked by his side. Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, also joined the vacation.
Journalists did not have access to cover Obama's arrival at the airport as requested by the former US president's advance team.
Only four officials welcomed Obama at Ngurah Rai Airport, namely Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Ngurah Rai Military Air Force Base commander Col. I Wayan Superman, 9th regional military command (Kodam IX) Udayana commander Maj. Gen. Komarudin Simanjuntak and Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Hadi Purnomo, who represented Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Petrus Reinhard Golose
Obama left Ngurah Rai Airport for Ubud at 7.17 p.m., with an VVIP escort comprising Indonesian Military and National Police personnel and his advance team.
Arie Ahsanurrohin, communications and legal head of state airport operator Angkasa Pura I at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, said clearance processes by the airport’s Customs and Immigration authorities took too long.
“In line with standard operating procedures, customs officers must check all luggage. It took time," Arie said.
Obama briefly engaged in small talk with local officials welcoming him. Obama and his family also posed for photos with the officials before leaving the airport.
Arie said Obama’s arrival did not affect the airport’s flight schedules. Obama will vacation in Bali until June 28, then head to Yogyakarta and Jakarta. (ebf)
On holiday: A Land Cruiser carrying former US president Barack Obama leaves I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on June 23.(JP/Ni Komang Erviani)