Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara. (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Indonesia to Accelerate Komodo Airport Upgrade as Investors Come in


DECEMBER 27, 2019

Jakarta. The Indonesian government is speeding up preparations for a major upgrade to the Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, after financial problems that had besotted the project were solved with the arrival of new investors, an official said on Friday.

A consortium of investors including the operator of Singapore's Changi Airport has confirmed an investment of Rp 1.2 trillion ($86 million) to expand the airport's runway, aprons and international terminals and another Rp 5.7 trillion investment to operate the airport for the next 25 years.

The Transportation Ministry will helm the project, turning the once sleepy airport into a gateway to the world-renowned Komodo National Park.

"The Transportation Ministry will intensify efforts to accelerate the project according to the schedules we have determined earlier,” Polana Pramesti, the ministry's director general of civil aviation, said in Jakarta.

The consortium comprises Jakarta-listed airport service firm Cardig Aero Services, Changi Airports International and subsidiary Changi Airports Mena.

Polona said the Komodo Airport would be the first to be built under a business-to-government scheme. It is expected to cater to 4 million passengers and 3,500 tons of cargo by 2034.

"The majority of airports are managed by local companies, but we now have regulations in place for foreign operators, which limit their ownership to 49 percent," she said, citing the 2009 Law on Civil Aviation and the 2016 Presidential Decree on Foreign Investments.

Polana said members of the consortium will need to register as Indonesian business entities before the project could commence.

A world-class airport in Labuan Bajo will also enhance connectivity in Indonesia's eastern parts, she said.

"We hope the airport will spur regional development," she said.