Komodo airport development was part of its effort to support Labuan Bajo as one of Indonesia's priority tourism development to make 10 'New Balis'. (Photo Courtesy of Tourism Ministry)

Changi Operator Wins Concession for Komodo Airport

BY :THRESA SANDRA DESFIKA

DECEMBER 26, 2019

Jakarta. Changi Airport International, the operator of the world's best Changi Airport in Singapore, has won a 25-year concession to operate Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, the main gateway to the world-renowned Komodo dragon national park in East Nusa Tenggara.

The Transportation Ministry announced on Thursday that Changi's consortium, which includes Jakarta-listed airport service firm Cardig Aero Services and Changi's subsidiary Changi Airports Mena, will invest Rp 1.2 trillion ($86 million) to expand the airport's runway, aprons, and international terminals and another Rp 5.7 trillion for its operation.

The consortium will build the facilities and have full control of the airport before handing back the airport management to the government at the end of the concession period Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a press conference. 

"I appreciate their interest because there are only 600,000 passengers [per year] today. It should become 4 million passengers per year in 10 years," Budi Karya said.  

Budi Karya said Komodo airport development was part of its effort to support Labuan Bajo as one of Indonesia's priority tourism development to make 10 'New Balis'.

"This is our chance to allow tourists who have been passing through Singapore to go directly to Labuan Bajo. So, I think that's the most important point," Budi Karya explained.

The coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the government has lofty ambition for Labuan Bajo in the medium term.

"We hope that [Labuan Bajo] can host APEC or G20 meeting," Luhut said, referring to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the group of 20 world's largest economies that Indonesia is part of. The country plans to submit a proposal for hosting the APEC meeting in 2024 and the G20 meeting a year earlier. 

The project also marked a successful public-private partnership (PPP) scheme in any airport that the government has been promoting in the past few years for developing infrastructure in the country. Komodo was the first airport in the country to be developed under such a scheme.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the Komodo airport project showed the progress that proved Indonesia as an attractive destination for foreign investors.

The government plans to offer next year the development of Singkawang Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan and Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi to foreign investors, using PPP scheme. 

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