Government plans to build a large-scale airport in North Bali will be finalized this year amid an increasing bottleneck at the existing hub to the south, says the Ministry of Transportation’s general secretary, Sugihardjo.
“There’s urgent need for an airport in North Bali due to limited capacity of Ngurah Rai International Airport. With just one runway, Ngurah Rai can only serve 27 to 35 flights per hour,” Sugihardjo said, as quoted by Detik.
According to Sindonews, from 2015 to 2016, the amount of passengers in Ngurah Rai International Airport increased by 16 percent. On the other hand, news website Viva pointed out that the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali increased by more than half during the same range of time. Almost all of the new arrivals came by air.
The new airport in North Bali is expected to have a runway that can accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A380, helping absorb the growth in international air traffic. While still in the planning stages, the project has already attracted investor interest, Sugihardjo said.
“There is no finalization yet, but we’re looking to decide things within the year. So far, there are two investors who have shown interest,” Sugihardjo said.
“They are a French investor and a local investor. We made sure that they know we’re looking for a long runway to accommodate large aircraft. From that demand point of view, this project surely has a lot of potential.”
Officials are considering building the new airport on reclaimed land to help avoid paving over agricultural areas, Sugihardjo said.
“We will avoid fertile land. That’s why we will examine the environmental, economic and social impacts beforehand. We will also involve local government, academics from Universitas Udayana (in Bali), as well as traditional leaders, and public figures.”
Sugihardjo said Transportation Minister Budi Karya will soon announce the project launch.
Image credits: SuaraDewata