New Mentawai Airport's construction to get completed in August 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has targeted to complete the construction of the New Mentawai Airport in Mentawai Islands District, West Sumatra Province, in August 2022.

"The synergy among regional governments, the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police (Polri), and other related parties Insha Allah (God willing) could support the completion of the airport's (construction), set in August 2022, and we will invite President Joko Widodo to inaugurate it," the minister noted in his statement accessed here, Saturday.

Sumadi explained that the New Mentawai Airport will replace the Rokot Sipora Airport, which currently has a 850-meter-long runway and can only accommodate Grand Caravan aircraft. Hence, a new runway will be built to accommodate larger aircraft.

Sumadi affirmed that his ministry had readied a budget of Rp547 billion for construction of the New Mentawai Airport, whose work has currently reached 42-percent completion.

Sumadi spoke of having urged the Directorate General of Civil Aviation at the Ministry of Transportation and the contractor to accelerate the construction process by increasing the number of human resources and equipment as well as optimizing the working time.

New Mentawai Airport will later be equipped with several facilities, such as a longer runway of 1,500 x 30 meters as compared to only 850 meters of the previous runway and be equipped with an apron spanning 175 x 75 meters, a taxiway of 75 x 15 meters that can accommodate three ATR 72 500/600 type aircraft, and a passenger terminal spanning 1,600 square meters that can accommodate 53,881 passengers annually.

Apart from boosting inter-regional connectivity around the Mentawai Islands, the presence of the airport is expected to boost the tourism sector in the islands, which are known for the waves explored by several surfing sports fans worldwide.

On the same occasion, Deputy Governor of West Sumatra Audy Joinaldy expressed his optimism that the new airport would help revive the community's economy.

Joinaldy also voiced his support for the intermodal integration from the Minangkabau International Airport to Mentawai, connected either by train, ship, or aircraft.

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