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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bali Airport Set for $211 million Upgrade

Expansion of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport will start this month, beginning with a project to relieve traffic congestion, according to a senior airport official.

State-owned airport management company PT Angkasa Pura I, which manages Ngurah Rai, is ready to start the first part of a four phase expansion project that will cost an estimated Rp 1.9 trillion (approximately US$211 million), according to company director Mr Tommy Soetomo.

“Construction will begin in February. So far we haven’t missed a deadline. Everything remains on schedule,” Tommy Soetomo said on the sidelines of ceremony inaugurating Ngurah Rai’s new general manager.

“The project will be divided into four phases. The first phase includes building access roads for the surrounding environment and the second phase is building a parking area.”

“The third phase is building the terminal, which will start in March or April this year. The fourth phase is creating an automatic baggage handling system.”

The company will build a new international terminal and convert the airports current international terminal to a domestic terminal. The project will also include construction of a three-story parking lot capable of accommodating 1,500 cars.

The terminal will also be equipped with a transit hotel to accommodate the passengers of cancelled flights. The airport’s domestic terminal is currently operating over capacity, accommodating 4.5 million passengers a year — three times its maximum load.

The airport’s terminals will span 190,000 square metres and be able to accommodate 20 million passengers a year after the expansion project is complete in 2013.

“Currently around 11 million passengers a year arrive and depart through this airport, and the number keeps rising. That’s why we should complete the project as soon as possible,” Tommy said.

“If we don’t address the overcapacity problem it will affect safety and security,” he added.

For the first phase, the company will disburse Rp 227.7 billion in investment. The second phase has been estimated to require Rp 344 billion, while the third and fourth phases have been budgeted for Rp 1.2 trillion and Rp 100 billion, respectively.

The state budget and the government’s investment centre, which is comprised of state banks Bank Mandiri, BNI and BRI, will fund Rp 1.2 trillion of the expansion’s proposed budget, while the remainder will be taken from the company’s cash reserves.

Once the fourth phase is completed, the airport will be the first in Indonesia to have a barcode-driven automatic baggage handling system.

Ngurah Rai’s new airport general manager, Purwanto, said the company would take preventative measures to reduce overcrowding at the airport during construction.

As part of the project to ease traffic congestion around the airport, a consortium of four state companies will build a toll road connecting Serangan and Tanjung Benoa.

The 11.5-kilometre toll road, which will cost an estimated Rp 3.5 trillion, will be built by Angkasa Pura I, toll road operator Jasa Marga, seaport operator Pelindo III and the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC).

The expansion project is also part of the nation's preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which will be held on the resort island in 2013.

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