Ma­jor air­ports un­dergo mas­sive ex­pan­sion


The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Contents - THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

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.

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