Major airports undergo massive expansion
INDONESIA IS EXPECTED TO BE THE SIXTH-LARGEST MARKET FOR AIR TRAVEL BY 2034, WITH SOME 270 MILLION PASSENGERS TO FLY FROM AND WITHIN THE COUNTRY
With the country on course to boost its competitiveness amid the implementation of an open-sky policy within ASEAN, state-owned airport operators have set plans to upgrade the country’s airports to better serve passengers and turn the country into an aviation hub.
State-owned airport operators PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I) and PT Angkasa Pura II (AP II) are gearing up to carry out major expansion and revitalization of airports under their management nationwide.
Known for their mediocre — if not lackluster — service, many Indonesian airports operate at overcapacity despite a growing number of flights to and from the country.
Indonesia is expected to be the sixthlargest market for air travel by 2034, with some 270 million passengers forecast to fly to, from and within the country, a number three times the size of the market today, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
At present, both AP I and AP II accommodate a number of passengers far higher than their official capacities. AP I, which runs 13 airports in Indonesia’s central and eastern regions, records around 50 million passengers annually.
Operating 13 airports in the country’s western region, AP II recorded an estimated 83.6 million passengers last year.
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang was the nation’s busiest last year, with the combined total of domestic and international passengers hitting 53.8 million. Well above the airport’s capacity of 22 million passengers.
Another five airports under AP II, namely Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II in South Sumatra, Husein Sastranegara in West Java, Supadio in West Kalimantan, Depati Amir in Bangka Belitung Islands and Sultan Thaha in Jambi were also ran at overcapacity. Husein Sastranegara International Airport alone catered to a number of passengers nearly six times its capacity last year.
AP II president director Budi Karya Sumadi said his firm was currently revitalizing or renovating buildings at four airports in Jambi, Tanjung Pinang (Bangka Belitung Islands), Pontianak ( West Kalimantan) and Bandung (West Java).
The state company has just finished revamping its facility in Jambi, while work at the other three airports is still under way, he said.
AP II aims to finish the work in Bandung early next year, Pontianak in December and Tanjung Pinang in the next two months, Budi added.
“Other than revitalizing airports buildings, we want to develop a sub-hub in the western region so that air traffic will not be concentrated only in Java,” he said.
The planned sub-hub of Kualanamu International Airport is set to offer direct flights for passengers in the western region to their destinations. “In the near future, we hope that those from Sumatra who are going on umroh [minor haj] won’t necessarily need to fly from Jakarta [Soekarno-Hatta International Airport], but can also fly from Kuala Namu,” Budi said.
By doing so, traffic at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport could be significantly reduced, while upgrades of the airport’s capacity and facilities are carried out at the same time, he said.
Kuala Namu, which replaced Polonia Airport, accommodated an estimated 8 million passengers last year.
AP II has estimated that it will require Rp 61 trillion (US$4.6 billion) to carry out expansion and revitalization of airports under its management, with Rp 41 trillion alone allocated to develop Soekarno-Hatta airport.
Budi explained that most of the expansion and revitalization projects would be aimed at
resolving the problem of overcapacity, which is reportedly responsible for 75 percent of the problems at airports.
For the same reasons AP I plans to spend Rp 9 trillion upgrading some of its major airports. One of its prominent schemes being a Rp 120 billion project to thicken runways at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.
AP I has also been expanding Achmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, Central Java, and Syamsudin Noor Airport in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, since 2014. The firm is also building a new airport in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, to replace the province’s existing Adisutjipto International Airport.
The investment value is estimated to hit Rp 2 trillion for Achmad Yani Airport, Rp 2.3 trillion for Syamsudin Noor Airport and Rp 5 trillion for the new airport in Kulon Progo.
Achmad Yani Airport currently accommodates around 3 million passengers, more than twice its capacity of 800,000 passengers. Syamsudin Noor Airport, meanwhile, serves 3.7 million passengers, well over its 1.3 million-passenger capacity.
Separately, the Transportation Ministry is set to build or expand new airports in 15 different locations across the country. It also plans to expand runways at 27 locations and revitalize passenger terminals at 13 airports.
“The Transportation Ministry has allocated Rp 5.83 trillion for the development, revitalization and maintenance of airport facilities in the 2016 budget year,” said ministry spokesman Julius Barata.
AP II’s Budi said airports that should be prioritized for the project were those in Batam, Riau Islands and Lampung because they were among the busiest cities in terms of shipping cargo.
Local architecture: An aircraft (partly seen) parks at Minangkabau International Airport in Ketaping, Padang, West Sumatra. Built using traditional architecture, the airport is able to accommodate 3 million passengers a year.