Mass tourism over-rules high value add tourism, cultural tourism and natural carrying capacities?
According to the Jakarta Post State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I (AP I) plans to construct a new international class airport in Bali’s northern coastal regency of Buleleng next year, in anticipation of the growing number of tourists to the resort island.
AP I spokesman Miduk Situmorang said the firm was set to start drafting the master plan for the airport with Indian investor GVK Power and Infrastructure at the end of this year.
“We will start construction of the Buleleng airport in the second part of 2013, after we have finished the Ngurah Rai International Airport expansion project in May [of 2013],” Miduk told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. He refused to disclose the total investment required for the airport, but said the figure would be quite staggering, as they plan to build an airport with an ultimate capacity of 25 million passengers annually.
“As one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations, Bali should be able to accommodate at least 50 million air passengers annually. We are ready to provide important infrastructure to the government to support tourism and boost the economy,” he said.
The planned new airport would gradually overtake Ngurah Rai International Airport since the latter faces land constraint problems that prevents the operator from extending the runway. In addition, he said the government would need to construct toll roads connecting the capital city of Denpasar to Buleleng regency in order to create fast and easy access to transportation for people. A toll road would cut Buleleng-Denpasar travel times from three hours to one hour. However, he said that AP I has not yet decided whether it would involve others in the toll road construction.
Currently, the company is expanding Ngurah Rai in anticipation of surging traffic prior to, and after, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit at the end of next year. They have spent Rp 2.7 trillion (US$286.2 million) to improve the airport’s international terminal, build a new apron and expand the parking facilities.
The expansion project will increase the airport’s total capacity from 9 million to 25 million passengers per year, and the new apron will manage up to 20 wide-bodied aircraft, including the Boeing 747 and Airbus 380. Ngurah Rai airport will also have a terminal for private jet passengers in partnership with a Swiss-based leading global business aviation organization ExecuJet Aviation Group (EAG). The Rp 80 billion VIP terminal is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
AP I recorded 12.77 million passengers traveling through Ngurah Rai throughout 2011, up from 11.1 million in 2010.
The figure is expected to reach 14.6 million passengers by the end of this year. Flight traffic has also increased to 284 flights per day. In 2011, the airport booked 103,771 flights, consisting of 64,262 domestic and 39,509 international flights.
05 February 2013
Bali Discovery reports that the regent of Buleleng in North Bali, Putu Agus Suradnyana, has announced that the Kubutambahan area of his regency on the outskirts of Singaraja has been selected as the location for a North Bali airport.
Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Suradnyana said: “From the three short listed locations (for the airport), in the end the Ministry of Transportation decided to build the new airport in the north at Kubutambahan.”
The regency said Kubutambahan scored highest in comparison to the alternatives of Gerokgak and Celukan Bawang.
“Kubutambahan scored 92.50. This score far surpassed the scores of Gerokgak and Celukan Bawang,” Suradnyana explained.
In times past, Singaraja serves as the capital of Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands.
While the Ministry of Transportation has chosen the Kubutambahan area for a new airport, no detailed plan for such a facility has yet to clearly articulated or funding allocated for the airport’s construction in State budgets.