Indonesia may invest 26.2 trillion rupiah (Dh10.28 billion) to triple the capacity at its main airport near capital Jakarta to meet rising travel demand in South East Asia’s biggest economy.
The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s capacity will be expanded to handle 62 million passengers by the end of 2014, compared with the present 22 million, Tri S. Sunoko, president director of PT Angkasa Pura II, the facility’s operator, said at an event to mark the project’s groundbreaking.
The development plan also includes adding more runways and expanding cargo terminals at the facility, which was Southeast Asia’s busiest in 2010. Singapore and Thailand are also working on expanding their airports as the region’s economic growth boosts air travel and carriers add more planes.
Airport expansion is a key part of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s plans to increase infrastructure spending as he seeks to boost investor confidence and deliver an average growth of 6.6 per cent by the end of 2014.
“The middle-class people in Indonesia is the largest in Southeast Asia and they need air transport services,” Yudhoyono said, after announcing the planned investment in the project. “The airport expansion will also support investment opportunity into Indonesia.”
The Soekarno-Hatta airport, named after the nation’s first president and vice president, handled 51.5 million passengers last year, more than double its capacity, Sunoko said.
The annual capacity at terminal 3 will be increased to 25 million from 4 million, Sunoko said. Terminal 1 and 2 will be expanded to handle 18 million and 19 million passengers each. The airport surpassed Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Singapore’s Changi as Southeast Asia’s busiest in 2010, according to the Airports Council International.
Indonesian airlines are also expanding. PT Lion Mentari Airlines, the nation’s biggest low-cost carrier, in February ordered 230 Boeing Co. planes worth about $22 billion (Dh80.8 billion) at list prices. PT Garuda Indonesia in April signed a firm order for 11 Airbus SAS A330-300 planes.
The government also plans to build an airport rail network that will connect the facility to the central business district of Jakarta, Kompas newspaper reported on July 31, citing State-Owned Enterprises minister Dahlan Iskan.
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said last month the city-state may add two more airport terminals to meet an expected increase in passenger traffic. The government is also planning to add 1,000 hectares to Changi airport.
In June, Thailand’s cabinet approved a plan to develop Don Mueang airport to help reduce congestion at Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi facility, which handles about 47 million travellers a year.