The Jakarta Post
Departing passengers and people picking up arrivals encountered confusion of the first day of operations at the new terminal at Ahmad Yani Airport, Semarang, on Wednesday, when they mistakenly went to the old terminal instead.
"I just tried to pick up Kiko at the old airport. At the gate, I pushed the button for parking ticket, but it didn’t work. Luckily there was an officer there who showed me showed the way here,” Ali Imran said, who finally found his child waiting at the new terminal.
A husband and wife, who were returning to Pontianak, West Kalimantan, after picking up their child from an Islamic boarding school in Magelang..
"There had been no announcement that there new terminal was now in use. We got lost at the old terminal, and had to rush here. We were lucky that we weren’t late for the flight. If we had been late, who would have been responsible?” Jamal said.
Otherwise, the relocation of operations from the old terminal to the new facility, carried out from midday Tuesday noon to early dawn on Wednesday, went methodically and smoothly.
The construction of the new terminal, with a budget of Rp. 2.2 trillion began in 2014, and is part of an ongoing process to return the original land and structures to the Indonesian Military. The existing terminal was opened for public use in 1966, and its operations taken over in by state-owned PT Angkasa Pura in 1995. In 2004, the existing runaways were lengthened to accommodate international flights.
As of Wednesday, the old terminal, which covered only 6,708 square meters, has returned to its original status of military installation.
Have a pleasant trip: Passengers wait their aircraft at the boarding room of Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, Central Java, on June 6. (JP/Suherdjoko)
The new 58,652 square-meter terminal, which was built on a former swamp, is almost nine times larger and has been designed and landscaped in such as way as to retain the impression of “floating above a marsh. The terminal features pools filled with water and aquatic plants. The facilities include waiting area seats, a lounge, cafes, toilets, check-in counters, an immigration point-of-entry counter, and baggage claim.
The new terminal, the core element of the airport expansion that is expected to reach completion in November this year, is now open to accommodate the explosion of holiday traveler for Idul Fitri in mid June.
The new terminal can accommodate 19,000 each day, a vast increase over 2,200 per day that could be handled at the old terminal.
The runway has also been expanded once again from 2,560 meters to 3,000 meters. The apron of the new terminal is 61.334 square meters with a 72.552-square-metre taxiway that can accommodate thirteen narrow-body aircraft or a configuration of ten narrow-body aircraft and two wide-body aircraft.
“We have ensured that the Operasi Boyong relocation did not disturb operational activities at the former terminal because the focus of the move was at night, near closing time. The finish of the relocation marks the readiness for operations at the new terminal of Ahmad Yani Internasional Airport in Semarang, which will become an icon for Semarang and Central Java residents,” Faik Fahmi, AP I director, said.
Semarang residents Irfan Kurniawan and Ari Wibowo, who were using the new terminal to fly respectively to Surabaya and Padang on Wednesday, were impressed with the facilities.
"It is clean, big, comfy. I’m proud to be flying out to Surabaya on the first day of opening,” Irfan said.
Ari Wibowo commented that “This airport is the second-grandest airport after Medan, which is owned by the province. That’s my opinion. There are several insufficiencies, such as lack of signs and others here. But I can understand that. This is the first day. Overall, the service is excellent.” (stu)