Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has said his ministry would study a proposal by the Bali provincial administration to develop an offshore airport in the north of the resort island.
“I cannot comment further on the airport because we are still conducting studies,” said Budi in Tangerang, Banten, over the weekend, as reported by tempo.co.
Project developer PT Bandara International Bali Baru (BIBU) president director I Made Mangku said last week the Bali administration preferred to develop an offshore airport to avoid the demolition of various valuable assets including 33 Hindu temples, 121 historical sites, roads, residences and productive rice fields.
The study would focus on a number of aspects, particularly the environmental and socio-cultural impacts of the project, the minister added.
Budi said the ministry would complete the study this year. He said the location of the airport had not been finalised and would depend on the results of the study.
He revealed there was also an idea to expand the existing I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, by constructing another runway.
Previously, Made said the construction of a new airport would be aimed at promoting tourism spots in North Bali like Tulamben, Nusa Penida and West Bali National Park, as well as to improve access to Banyuwangi in East Java and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.
New Bali International Airport is designed to accommodate 32 million passengers annually, equipped with a 230,000-square-meter terminal and a 4,100 meter runway. (bbn)