The Jakarta Post
Two airports in East Java, namely Juanda International Airport in Surabaya and Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, will support I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali when the island hosts the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank annual meeting on Oct 8-14, 2018.
Flights carrying meeting participants will be directed to land at either Juanda or Blimbingsari if Mount Agung erupts next October, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said in Bali over the weekend.
When Mt. Agung first erupted on Nov. 29, volcanic ash blew to the east or away from Ngurah Rai, he said, but the government needed to prepare alternative landing strips should volcanic activity disrupt flights to the Bali airport.
"We still face the possibility of Ngurah Rai Airport closing during the meeting. [We anticipate] not only Mt. Agung’s eruption, but also that of Mt. Kelud in East Java. So, we prepared a contingency plan," he said.Read also: Government maintains decision to appoint Bali as IMF-WB meeting host
State-owned airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura II has allocated Rp 300 billion (US$2.21 million) to enhance the capability of Blimbingsari Airport, particularly to expand its apron to 18,000 square meters from the current 3,000 sqm.
The expansion is slated for completion in July 2018, the minister said. (bbn)