JAKARTA. State airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) II is scheduled to finish renovating Silangit Airport in North Sumatra in September to welcome international flights to boost tourist arrivals in the promotion of Lake Toba as a prime destination.
The renovation includes extension of the runaway to 2,650 meters from 2,400 meters, the expansion of apron capacity and the airport terminal with a total investment of Rp 369 billion (US $27.7 million).
The new apron will be able to accommodate two Boeing 737-500 planes and four Boeing 737-900 ER planes, while the renovated terminal will have an increased capacity of 1 million passengers from 36,500 passengers annually.
"The renovation of Silangit Airport will help increase air connectivity to support economic and tourism growth at Lake Toba," AP II president director Muhammad Awaluddin said in an official statement.
As an international airport, Silangit Airport will also be equipped with customs, immigration and quarantine offices.
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and private carrier Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air Group have expressed interest in flying to international destinations from the airport, said Awaluddin, possibly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, to attract tourists, especially from China.
The number of passengers flying to and from Silangit increased threefold in the first half of the year to 124,071 passengers from same period last year.