Bali’s Bigger Airport Seen Handling 20 Million Passengers

TUBAN

Bali’s main entry point, Ngurah Rai International Airport, will be handling 20 million passengers a year within the next five years due to its current expansion programme, according of an official.

That figure is close to double the cramped airport’s current level of 12.7 million passengers annually – an almost equal mix of domestic and international travel.

And passenger numbers could rise further still if the airport builds a second runway, but that seems unlikely due to a lack of available land, said Herry Bakti of the Transportation Ministry this week.

“The current expansion project will add capacity to a maximum of 20 million passengers a year. With relatively high growth, it will reach maximum capacity within the next five years,” he said.

He said it was more probable that a second international airport would be built in Bali, in the sparsely populated north, as has been touted by officials on the island but movement on the plan has been slow.

The Bali Times understands that potential investors from India have visited locations in the north of Bali but that as yet no decisions have been made on the project.

But it looks as if the second airport – whose supporters argue would take the strain off the overcrowded south of Bali and give the entire island a greater share of rising tourism revenues – is still on the cards.

Bakti said a second Bali airport was part of the central government’s masterplan for Indonesia – but that if did not go ahead, Bali would be better off linking up with Lombok’s newly completed international airport or Juanda Airport in Surabaya, East Java.

He added that Bali should also consider establishing its own railway system, a proposal that has been put forward by Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika.



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