The Jakarta Post
Almost 10 months after Kertajati International Airport was inaugurated, the airport that was touted as the largest in the country after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten has experienced no growth in traffic.
In an interview with the media in February, a representative of PT Bandara Internasional Jawa Barat (BIJB), the airport developer, said the airport’s load factor was only at 20 percent.
To help increase passenger traffic, the West Java administration has called on all civil servants in the regencies close to the Kertajati airport in Majalengka to depart from it if they want to travel by airplane.
So far, five airlines serves 11 routes to and from Kertajati: Garuda, Citilink, Wings, Lion and Trans Nusa.
As the growth of passenger traffic at Kertajati airport remains slow, the provincial administration has decided to boost activities there by making it a cargo airport.
West Java Governor Ridwal Kamil said the airport’s traffic and flight frequencies would increase within 10 years.
The governor said he expected the amount of traffic would increase as soon as the Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan (Cisum- dawu) toll road was completed.
Ridwan explained that the West Java administration was making Kertajati a cargo airport because of the large potential of the cargo business in the region.
“In just five years, the potential is expected to reach US$80 billion in Southeast Asia. We are trying to take part in the business,” Ridwan recently told reporters in Bandung, West Java.
He added that the cargo services provided by the country’s busiest airport, Soekarno-Hatta, were inadequate.
Ridwan said a provincial administration-owned company, BIJB, had sealed an agreement with publicly listed cargo and ground-handling firm PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS), allowing the latter to hold a 20-hectare concession on the Kertajati airport’s land for loading, unloading and storage.
“BIJB had agreed with international consortium JAS to develop the airport into an international hub, facilitated by advanced storage facilities,” he said.
JAS has operated a premiere lounge that provides food and beverages, as well as a waiting room with Wi-Fi connection, flight information and a smoking area. The facility is located on the second floor of the domestic arrivals terminal and has a capacity for 70 people.
JAS Airport Services general director Muhartono Sigit said the company would support the BIJB’s vision of becoming the gateway to West Java. He expressed hope that the airport’s passenger traffic would increase following improvements in its services and routes.
Ridwan said the collaboration would also involve state-owned postal company PT Pos Indonesia, which would deliver the received goods to consumers.
Ridwan added the airport would serve international flights soon.
“The first international flight from Kertajati airport will be an umrah [minor haj] flight of Malaysia Airlines,” he said.
He said he had asked stateowned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II not to move all 80 routes of the Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung, West Java, to Kertajati airport.
“We will decide on Husein Sastranegara International Airport’s role after we make final decisions about Cisumdawu. We won’t be taking any risks. Kertajati airport should complement Husein airport,” he said.
Kertajati International Airport is located some 200 kilometers from Jakarta. Its construction cost an estimated Rp 2.1 trillion ($153.7 million). Combined with its operational costs, total investment in the new airport would be about Rp 2.6 trillion. (ars)