President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo commended the beauty of Ahmad Yani International Airport when he inaugurated the newly expanded terminal in Semarang, Central Java, on Thursday.
The President recalled his experiences in the old terminal, which he said was dirty and overcrowded.
“Four years ago, when I went to Ahmad Yani Airport in Semarang, I was quite amazed. How could such a [poor] airport be categorized as an international airport? The building was dirty.” said Jokowi.
The President said he then ordered State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno and state airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) I to expand and refurbish Ahmad Yani.
“I have always checked the construction process of our airports, but for this [Semarang] airport, I never checked it. When I arrived, I was surprised. I was really surprised. Construction was supposed to be completed in December, but it is ready. Alhamdulillah [thank God],” said Jokowi.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and First Lady Iriana inspect the newly inaugurated Ahmad Yani International Airport terminal in Semarang, Central Java, on June 7. (JP/Suherdjoko)
The President said the new terminal had beautiful architecture and a comfortable environment.
“What we need to improve on is the runway, which is still 2,500 meters in length. By the end of this year, it must be 3,000 meters because it’s an international airport," he went on to say.
Ahmad Yani's reconstruction cost Rp 2.2 trillion (US$157.74 million). The project included the construction of a 45-meter nine-story air traffic control tower. The terminal can serve up to 7 million passengers a year, up from 800,000 in the old terminal. (ebf)