Airport Renovation Plans Criticized

DENPASAR ~ Politicians have complained about designs for the renovation of Ngurah Rai International Airport, saying they do not reflect Balinese architecture, an official said.

In a discussion held on Tuesday in Renon, members of Bali’s parliament voiced concerns that the Rp1.3-trillion (US$116 million) revamp scheduled to start in April was not in keeping with Balinese tradition.

Lawmaker Ketut Mandiranatha said the airport would look like a shopping mall because more than half the area was designated to retail outlets, and the architecture bore no resemblance to Balinese buildings.

Deputy speaker IB Suryatmaja asked that the central government be sensitive to the Balinese culture and that the airport here was the first impression for tourists arriving in Bali.

He said the airport currently had a similar roof to those at other airports in Indonesia, which was out of place in Bali.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who ordered the renovations in a bid to increase tourism, responded to the criticism by highlighting how expensive it would be to use Balinese traditional architecture, but Suryatmja countered by pointing out that Bali’s airport could support 14 other airports in Indonesia with its profits.

Filed under: The Island

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