Bintan's private airport set to attract more foreign tourists
Indonesia's first private airport is currently being developed on Bintan Island by PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala together with private carrier Sriwijaya Air.
The total area of the airport is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 hectares.
Gallant Venture, the parent company of Salim Group-owned Bintan Resort, is said to fund up to US$ 150 million for the project.
"We've conducted a land preparation; we're currently working on the runway and airport development," said PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala general manager Abdul Wahab.
Apart from the airport, Sriwijaya Air's Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) is also going to be build there.
The construction of the first development phase, which include a 300-meter runway, an airport building and MRO, is set to be done by 2019 and the airport will be ready for operation the year after.
The new MRO will accept reparation service requests from other airlines considering the fact that the number of MRO available in Indonesia is still limited.
"The completion of the first phase is expected to bring in two to three million tourists to Bintan Island," Abdul added.
The second phase will focus on the development of an airport hub, which includes a flight school, and is expected to complete by 2025, "The airport hub can contribute between 25,000 and 35,000 workers from different regions in Indonesia," said Abdul.
The next stage will be the development of a second runway.
With the new airport, Abdul says the island is targeting to welcome 600,000 tourists until the end of the year, of which 80 per cent of them are from overseas. The average number of foreign tourist visiting Bintan per year is 200,000 people.
"The number of foreign tourists in Bintan in 2016 reached 2,004,000 people; that's 17 per cent of the total tourists in Indonesia. Moreover, Bintan Airport will help solve air connectivity problems," said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.