The Jakarta Post
A Citilink Indonesia plane arrives as the first commercial airline at the Yogyakarta International Airport on May 2. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)
Commercial flights officially began operating out of the new Yogyakarta International Airport on Thursday, with PT Citilink Indonesia being the first commercial airline to land there.
Departing from Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng, the A320 Airbus flew for one hour and landed in Yogyakarta at 12 p.m.
Apart from pilot Agus Setiono and co-pilot Teguh Kristiono, the plane carried 14 people.
“The flight went well, along with the runway’s condition. Everything was normal and good,” said Agus.
“Compared to Adisutjipto Airport [in Yogyakarta], I found the new airport less crowded and with fewer obstacles. The runway is smooth and up to international standards,” he added.
Agus Pandu Purnama, general manager of PT Angkasa Pura 1, expressed his excitement over the first landing at the airport.
“This is a proud moment. Everything went smoothly, from the final approach, touch down to the parking,” he said.
Citilink is set to start operating officially at the new airport on May 6, with round trips from Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.
On May 10, Lion Air and Batik Air flights to Bali, Balikpapan, Batam, Jakarta and Palangkaraya are scheduled to depart from the new airport.
Read also: Jakpost explores Yogyakarta
“However, we are still waiting for licenses from the Transportation Ministry,” Agus said.
The airport was initially intended to serve only international flights. However, the ministry suggested that it could also serve 20 to 30 domestic flights.
Along with the first landing at the airport, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo planted trees along the coastline at the southern part of the airport. It is intended to mitigate natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, he said.
The new airport in Kulon Progo regency is located approximately 400 meters from the Indian Ocean coastline.
The BNPB donated 2,000 seeds of Australian pine tree and blackboard tree ready for planting. The total area designated to be the airport’s green area is 101 hectares.
As Yogyakarta International Airport begins its operations, nine families have rejected compensation for their land.
Sofyan, one of the residents, said he had given no thought to the airport.
“Let them be. What matters is the land they are operating on still belongs to the residents who object to the airport,” he said. (wng)