Work on a brand new international airport will get underway in Bali next year, airport operator Angkasa Pura I has revealed.
Speaking with local media, the state-run company said the new hub, in the Buleleng area of northern Bali, would complement, rather than replace the existing Bali airport at Denpasar, significantly boosting the island’s air capacity.
“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 ,” Miduk Situmorang, a spokesperson for Angkasa Pura I told the Jakarta Post this week.
“As one of the world’s favourite 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 added.
The expansion of Bali’s main airport, Ngurah Rai International, will see the hub’s capacity expand from 9m passengers per year currently to 25m annual passengers by 2015. Based on the airport operator’s projection that Bali needs to accommodate 50m passengers, the new hub at Buleleng would also need a capacity of 25m passengers.
Buleleng regency stretches along the north coast of Bali. Its largest town, Singaraja, is located more than 60km from Denpasar and any new airport would need to be connected to Bali’s southern tourist areas by a new road or rail link.
Bali received 12.8m air passengers last year 2011, but this figure is expected to rise to 14.6m this year.