The central government will not prioritize the development of an offshore airport in northern Bali as proposed by the local government, saying that such a project was not urgent, according to Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
He stressed, however, that the central government was prepared to develop a second runway at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in the southern part of the resort island.
“We prefer to empower the existing I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport,” Budi said in Jakarta on Sunday as reported kompas.com.
Previously, he said that the ministry was carrying out a study on the proposal made by the Bali administration through PT Pandara International Bali Utara (BIBU) Panji Sakti, which has received support from a Canadian investor.
BIBU president director I Made Mangku said the company preferred to develop an offshore airport because the initial plan of an onshore airport would have sacrificed 33 Hindu temples, 121 historical sites, roads, residences and productive rice fields.
Made further explained that Bali Governor Mangku Pastika had prohibited the use of productive land, Hindu temples or historical sites for the development of a new airport. (bbn)