Investment in Airport Construction: Improving Indonesia's Infrastructure
Indonesia's Ngurah Rai Airport on the idyllic island of Bali is now the country's largest airport in terms of passenger capacity. Being newly renovated, it can handle 25 million passengers per year. As such, it has surpassed Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, located just outside Jakarta (Java), and the new Kuala Namu airport in Medan (Sumatra), which have passenger capacities of 22 million and 8.1 million respectively. However, after renovation of terminal three at Soekarno-Hatta will be finished, Ngurah Rai is to lose its top spot again.
Although Soekarno-Hatta International Airport was designed to handle about 22 million people per year, in reality it has to cope with more than 50 million travelers. This is just one of many examples that indicate the fragile state of Indonesia's infrastructure (both in terms of quantity and quality) and has made the government realize that investments in the country's infrastructure are badly needed. Throughout Indonesia a number of airports have recently been renovated or have been built from scratch such as the Kuala Namu Airport.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport, which is currently being renovated, will have a passenger capacity of 68 million per year after its third terminal is ready for operation. Moreover, its capacity is expected to climb to 88 million people when the fourth terminal is opened.
Ngurah Rai International Airport on Bali was designed to handle seven million people per year. However, being the most popular tourist destination of Indonesia, the airport welcomed about 11 million passengers last year and as air passenger numbers in Indonesia increase by about 15 percent per year, it means that infrastructure can run out of date quickly. Especially considering that foreign tourist arrivals are expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead.
The airport on Bali is not ready yet. According to latest reports, 95 percent of construction is finished. On 12 September 2013, the inauguration is scheduled. However, probably around May 2014, the airport will be fully operational in accordance with its blueprint.
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