World News

Indonesia studies building new airport for Jakarta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s government is considering building another airport near Jakarta as the capital’s main flight hub will not be able to accommodate future passenger growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, an official said on Friday.

The government is also looking at boosting the capacity of the Soekarno-Hatta international airport, now serving about 35 million passengers a year, said Herry Bakti, director general for air transport at the transport ministry.

He said passenger growth each year is around 15-20 percent. Inadequate infrastructure in the country is seen as both a deterrent to foreign direct investors and an investment opportunity, with Japan already funding transport projects.

“We plan for multiple airports in the Jakarta metropolitan area,” Bakti told Reuters, adding a study on the issue will be completed by the end of this year.

The government has asked the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to conduct a visibility study exploring the main airport’s expansion and to develop new facilities, the Jakarta Globe newspaper on Friday quoted I Ketut Feri Utamayasa, spokesman for airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura II, as saying.

Indonesia and Japan signed a deal last month in which Japan will fund transport infrastructure projects worth 2 trillion yen ($24 billion) around Jakarta, while other Asian nations and private equity firms are eyeing infrastructure.

Bakti said the government is considering commercialising two existing airports in Jakarta, the Halim military airport and a police airport, or creating a new one in industrial areas further outside the capital, in Banten to the west on Java island or Karawang to the east. ($1 = 83.3 Yen)

Reporting by Telly Nathalia; Editing by Neil Chatterjee